Access Bank Moves To Acquire Kenya’s Largest Commercial Bank

Access Bank is acquiring the National Bank of Kenya from the KCB Group, marking its second acquisition of a Kenyan bank in less than five years.

After purchasing Transnational Bank Limited in 2019, the development becomes Access Bank’s second acquisition in Kenya.

Sunday Ekwochi, Access Holdings’ Secretary, announced in a statement filed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Wednesday that the finalization of the deal is subject to regulatory approvals from the central banks of Kenya and Nigeria.

According to Tech Cabal, KCB Group’s CEO, Paul Russo, revealed that Access Bank will acquire the entire stake in a deal he considers beneficial for NBK’s future.

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The statement read:

Access Holdings Plc (‘Access Holdings’) today announces that its flagship subsidiary, Access Bank Plc (‘Access Bank’ or ‘the Bank’) has entered into a binding agreement with Kenyan-based KCB Group Plc (‘KCB’) for the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of National Bank of Kenya Limited (‘NBK’ or ‘the Target’) from KCB. (‘the Transaction’) KCB is also the holding company of KCB Bank Ltd, Kenya’s largest commercial bank.

The Transaction is in furtherance of the Bank’s African expansion strategy and will reposition it as a stronger and significant player in the Kenyan market whilst serving as a regional hub for our East African bloc anchored by a solidified balance sheet.

The parties will be working together in the coming months to fulfil the conditions precedent relating to the Transaction, which include the regulatory approvals of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Kenya.

Sequel to the completion of the Transaction, the Target would be combined with Access Bank Kenya Plc to create an enlarged franchise in the pursuit of our strategic objective for the Kenyan and East African markets.”

According to Ms Bolaji Agbede, Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc;

This proposed acquisition marks a significant step in the execution of our five-year strategic plan aimed at positioning the Bank as Africa’s Gateway to the World.

The deal with NBK, a historically strong and well-known bank in Kenya with a balance sheet in excess of US$1.1 billion, presents a compelling opportunity to scale up our growth in the East African market.

We remain confident that our investments towards diversifying and strengthening the Bank’s long-term earnings profile will deliver significant value for our shareholders, customers, and wider stakeholder groups.”

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