Access Bank to Acquire National Bank of Kenya

Access Bank will acquire the National Bank of Kenya from the KCB Group, its second acquisition of a Kenyan bank under five years.

After purchasing Transnational Bank Limited. in 2019, this is the Nigerian lender’s second acquisition in Kenya.

Access Holdings’ Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, announced in a statement filed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited on Wednesday that the deal’s finalisation is contingent upon receiving regulatory approvals from the central banks of Kenya and Nigeria.

Tech Cabal reports that KCB Group’s CEO, Paul Russo, announced that Access Bank would acquire the whole stake in a deal he deemed beneficial for NBK’s future.

The statement reads: “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.”

Commenting on the transaction, Ms. Bolaji Agbede, Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, said, “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.”