HomeNewsAccess Bank Expands Footprint with National Bank of Kenya Acquisition

Access Bank Expands Footprint with National Bank of Kenya Acquisition

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Nigerian banking leader Access Bank is poised to acquire National Bank of Kenya (NBK) from the KCB Group, marking a significant step in its African expansion strategy. This move comes just five years after Access Bank’s successful acquisition of Transnational Bank Limited in Kenya.

Solidifying Presence in Kenya

The acquisition, subject to regulatory approvals from both the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Kenya, signifies Access Bank’s commitment to the Kenyan market. However, by combining NBK with its existing Kenyan subsidiary, Access Bank aims to create a stronger, more prominent player in the Kenyan financial landscape.

It was reported that KCB Group’s CEO, Paul Russo, announced that Access Bank will acquire the whole stake in a deal he deemed beneficial for NBK’s future.

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.”

East African ambitions

The acquisition transcends Kenya, positioning Access Bank as a regional hub for the East African bloc. Also, with a solidified balance sheet bolstered by NBK’s assets, Access Bank is well-equipped to pursue its ambitions in the East African market.

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

Also, the acquisition of NBK presents a compelling opportunity for Access Bank to accelerate its growth trajectory in East Africa. NBK, a historically strong Kenyan bank with a balance sheet exceeding US$1.1 billion, brings a loyal customer base and established presence to the table.

“The deal with NBK… presents a compelling opportunity to scale up our growth in the East African market,” Ms. Agbede remarked.

Benefits for All Stakeholders

Access Bank remains confident that this strategic move will deliver value not only to its shareholders but also to its customers and wider stakeholder groups. Moreover, the bank’s commitment to diversification and strengthening its long-term earnings profile is expected to benefit all parties involved.

The successful completion of this acquisition will reshape the Kenyan banking landscape, creating a new force with a broader reach and enhanced capabilities. Finally, with a focus on regional growth and value creation, this move by Access Bank marks a positive development for the East African financial sector.

Source: Vanguard 

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