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Access Bank Signs Agreement To Acquire National Bank Of Kenya From KCB Group

Access Bank is expanding its franchise and fortifying its presence in East Africa by acquiring the National Bank of Kenya.

In a groundbreaking move within the African banking landscape, Access Bank Plc and KCB Group Plc inked a binding agreement on Wednesday to acquire the full shareholding of National Bank of Kenya Limited (NBK) from KCB.

This was revealed in a joint statement between the two firms that was released on Wednesday.

The successful conclusion of this acquisition hinges on customary conditions, including regulatory approvals from entities such as the Central Bank of Kenya, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the COMESA Competition Commission, and notifications to other pertinent regulators.

For Access Bank, the acquisition signifies a robust commitment to fortifying its presence in Kenya and the wider East African region. It underscores the bank’s strategic vision to bolster its operations in key African markets, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda’s Finance Trust Bank Limited, and BancABC Tanzania, among others.

Roosevelt Ogbonna, the Managing Director/Chief Executive of Access Bank Plc, expressed his enthusiasm about the transaction saying, “The transaction represents an important milestone for the Bank as it moves us closer to the achievement of our five-year strategic plan through increased scale in the Kenyan market. 

“We are building a strong and sustainable franchise to support economic prosperity, encourage Africa trade, advance financial inclusion thereby empowering many to achieve their financial dreams.”

He further emphasized the strategic significance of Kenya as a pivotal player in regional trade corridors and highlighted the bank’s commitment to leveraging its expertise to drive sustainable value for stakeholders.

Also commenting on the transaction, KCB Group CEO Paul Russo said, “This transaction represents what we believe is a great opportunity to maximise value for our shareholders while strengthening the competitive position for the Group.”

He underscored the transformative impact of KCB’s investments in NBK over the past four years and reiterated the Group’s commitment to pursuing growth opportunities that enhance shareholder value.

Both institutions will collaborate closely in the coming months to fulfil the conditions precedent to the acquisition, including regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Kenya. Access Bank has reassured its stakeholders, including employees and customers in Kenya, of seamless banking services during this transition period.

Upon completion, stakeholders can expect to benefit from an expanded franchise, with a focus on delivering best-in-class customer service and governance structures. The combined entity aims to deepen financial inclusion across the region by leveraging Access Bank’s dedication to economic development and extending financial services to the unbanked.

Access Bank’s strategic expansion drive, marked by significant acquisitions in recent months, underscores its commitment to becoming a leading player in the African banking sector.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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