Access Bank to Acquire 100% Stake in National Bank of Kenya

March 20, 2024
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By Adedapo Adesanya 

Access Bank Plc plans to acquire the National Bank of Kenya from KCB Group Plc, as the Nigerian lender continues to spread its tentacles to the East African market and sustain the expansion drive of its late co-founder, Mr Herbert Wigwe, who died last month in the United States.

The acquisition will see KCB sell 100 per cent of NBK at 1.25* its book value, boosting the foothold of Nigeria’s biggest bank in one of East Africa’s most crucial economies.

The lenders signed an agreement for the purchase on Wednesday and this marks the second acquisition in Kenya for the Nigerian bank after it bought Transnational Bank Limited in 2019.

Speaking on the deal, the CEO of Access Bank, Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, in a statement said, “The transaction represents an important milestone for the bank as it moves us closer to the achievement of our five-year strategic plan through increased scale in the Kenyan market.”

According to KCB Group CEO, Mr Paul Russo, the sale of the lender to Access Bank will help turn around the fortunes of the struggling subsidiary. KCB, which is Kenya’s biggest bank, bought the National Bank of Kenya in 2019.

“The board evaluated three options and made the decision that to protect the value and the efforts we’ve put in NBK, the right thing to do [] is to accept a binding offer from Access Group,” Russo said while releasing KCB Group’s 2023 financial results.

Access Bank plans to double the share of assets outside its home market by 2027, the company said previously as it opts to outgrow competition from the rapidly scaling fintech companies in its home market and other financial institutions on the continent.

The deal also builds on the bank’s growing operations in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda, as well as its acquisitions or plans to acquire stakes in Uganda’s Finance Trust Bank Limited in January, a controlling share in African Banking Corporation of Tanzania, and Standard Chartered Bank Plc’s consumer, private and business-banking operations in that country.

The parties revealed that the successful completion of the deal will be subject to regulatory approvals including the go-ahead from the Kenyan and Nigerian central banks.

Access Bank has been on a Mergers and Acquisition (M&A) streak across the continent, acquiring Grobank in South Africa, BancABC in Botswana and Mozambique, Diamond Bank in Nigeria, and Finibanco Angola.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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