Aiming to be Africa’s financial gateway to the world, the Nigerian lender, Access Bank has acquired a majority stake in another foreign bank, a few weeks after it announced its intention to buy a South African bank.
In a notice on Monday, the company said it has entered into a definite and binding agreement with a subsidiary of Atlas Mara Limited, ABC Holdings Limited, for the acquisition of a 78.15 per cent shareholding in African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited (BancABC Botswana).
In the disclosure, Access Bank stated that the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary conditions precedent and should be completed before the end of the second quarter of 2021.
Atlas Mara is a financial firm listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) with investments in some banks in Africa, including the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) listed Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, which also competes in the same space with Access Bank.
“We remain committed to a disciplined and thoughtful expansion strategy in Africa, which we believe will create strong, sustainable returns for our shareholders and stakeholders at large over the medium and long term,” the Group Managing Director of Access Bank, Mr Herbert Wigwe, stated.
“The establishment of Access Bank through this acquisition in the Republic of Botswana will position the bank to deliver a more complete set of banking solutions to its clients active in and across the SADC and COMESA regions,” he further said.
“This transaction complements our recent strategic growth acquisitions in South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique,” Mr Wigwe explained.
He emphasised that Access Bank is “building a bank of the future that Africans across Africa and the world will be proud of and look forward to welcoming the employees, customers and other stakeholders of BancABC Botswana to Access Bank.”
Botswana is renowned for its quality sovereign credit rating and stability and Access Bank’s market entry will enable it further solidify its strategy as a strong banking partner in key verticals across retail and corporate banking, including especially supporting trade and payments across Southern Africa and sub-Saharan Africa more broadly.
BancABC Botswana is the fifth-largest bank in Botswana and is a very well-capitalised banking institution poised for growth and success in its local market.
The bank has been perennially profitable, given an existing high-quality retail loan book with opportunities and scope for diversification and further expansion into corporate and SME lending.
Botswana’s achievements in digital banking adoption also provide an opportunity for Access Bank to optimise its best-in-class digital platforms and product suites to the benefit of BancABC Botswana’s customers.