Atlas Mara Zambia Merger Will Boost Our Earnings—Access Bank
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The group managing director/chief executive officer of Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, has expressed optimism about the huge prospects of the merger with African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (Atlas Mara Zambia).
Access Bank recently announced that its subsidiary in Zambia, Access Bank Zambia Limited (Access Bank Zambia) was planning to merge with Atlas Mara Zambia.
Already, a binding agreement has been executed between Access Bank and Atlas Mara Limited, the parent company of Atlas Mara Zambia.
“We are particularly excited by the prospects of increased earnings contribution to the bank from the enlarged Access Bank Zambia,” Mr Wigwe commented.
He described the transaction as “another milestone that brings us to the achievement of our broader strategic objectives.”
According to him, “The merger of Atlas Mara Zambia with Access Bank Zambia is expected to augment our presence in Zambia and the broader COMESA region, Africa’s largest free trade area.”
He said to achieve this, the lender has appointed “a new Managing Director, Mr Lishala Situmbeko, who brings over 25 years of cognate experience and deep local relationships into our Zambia operation.”
Mr Wigwe noted that Access Bank is expanding its tentacles in the country because of “the strong confidence” it has in “the Zambian market” as well as “our strong confidence in the long-term prospects for the Zambian economy.”
Business Post reports that the merger between the two banks is expected to be concluded in 2022, subject to fulfilment of conditions precedent including regulatory approvals in Nigeria and Zambia.
Upon completion of the merger, the bank is expected to retain or increase its current shareholding in Access Bank Zambia, which following the merger will have over 70 branches and agencies, approximately $1 billion in total assets and over 300,000 customers in Zambia.
The deal will not require significant additional capital investment requirements from the bank given the capital and other synergies created from the merger between Access Bank Zambia with Cavmont Bank in 2020.