By Modupe Gbadeyanka One of the major shareholders in Ecobank Transnational Incorporation, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), which is a member of the World Bank Group, has agreed to offload its stake in the African lender to a Dutch company. Business Post reports that IFC and investment funds managed by the IFC Asset Management Company (AMC), which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC, control about 14.1 percent stake in Ecobank, which has its headquarters in Lome, Togo. They want to sell their holdings in the financial institution to a Dutch investment firm known as Arise B. V, which is a leading equity investor in financial institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa with a combined asset value in excess of $700 million. Already, talks on the acquisition are said to be in advanced stage and should be completed \u201cin the coming months, subject to due diligence, internal and regulatory approvals.\u201d Ecobank, which confirmed this development today in a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), said the selling parties have supported its growth strategy across Africa in building a preeminent banking franchise. \u201cEcobank Transnational Incorporated, (ETI), the Lom\u00e9-based parent company of the Ecobank Group, announces a material information relating to its ownership structure. \u201cThe International Finance Corporation (IFC, a member of the World Bank Group), and investment funds managed by the IFC Asset Management Company (AMC a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC) have entered into a Share Purchase Agreement with a leading Dutch investment firm Arise B. V for the sale of their circa 14.1 percent stake in ETI. \u201cCompletion of the transaction is expected in the coming months, subject to due diligence, internal and regulatory approvals.\u201d \u201cIFC and ETI have worked together since 1993 to broaden access to finance, enhance trade liquidity, and strengthen Ecobank. \u201cSince 2009, IFC and the funds managed by the IFC Asset Management Company, through their investments, have been supporting Ecobank\u2019s growth strategy across Africa in building a preeminent banking franchise,\u201d the statement said. Business Post reports that shares of Ecobank appreciated by 15 kobo at the stock market today, closing at N10 per unit.