KCB, Atlas Mara ink deal for Rwanda, Tanzania banking businesses

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A KCB Bank ATM
PHOTO/COURTESY: KCB Group

KCB Group and Atlas Mara have signed a definitive agreement that will see East Africa’s biggest bank by assets increase its footprint within the region.

This is through the acquisition of a 62.06% stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) and a 100% stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited (BancABC) from Atlas Mara in Rwanda and Tanzania, respectively.

The successful completion of the transaction is subject to obtaining shareholder approval and to obtaining regulatory approvals in the respective countries.

KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara said the transaction was part of KCB’s ongoing strategy to explore opportunities for new growth while investing in and maximizing returns from the Group’s existing businesses. The acquisition, he added, will reinforce the Group’s leadership position and give it a stronger edge to play a bigger role in driving the financial inclusion agenda in the East African region while building a robust and financially sustainable organization. 

“The transaction fits within the Group’s expansion strategy and will see us increase our market share and distribution network across Rwanda and Tanzania and improve our operating leverage by enabling us to deliver our existing product offerings to a wider base of customers while positioning the bank for sustainable growth in the long-term, ” said Mr. Oigara. 

“Once the transaction is completed, the Group’s Rwanda and Tanzania businesses are expected to have stronger financial credentials to support business growth in the post covid-19 macroeconomic recovery” Mr. Oigara added.

In Rwanda, upon completion of the acquisition, the resultant KCB Group business is expected to see KCB double its market share to become the second largest bank in the country and solidify KCB Group’s leadership position.

In Tanzania, the subsequent merger of BancABC with KCB Bank Tanzania, a subsidiary of KCB Group, will integrate KCB Tanzania’s strong retail and corporate banking franchise with BancABC’s retail and commercial banking operations. The merged entity is expected to rank as a top ten bank in the industry.

KCB Group, which has presence in six countries and a representative office in Ethiopia, has been keen to tap into new growth opportunities while reinforcing existing market capabilities.

“Our growth strategy is premised on both organic and inorganic plans and we shall continue to seek opportunities that increase our shareholder’s value,” said Mr. Oigara.

KCB Group’s after-tax profits for the nine months ending September 2020 stood at Ksh.10.9 billion. The Group’s balance sheet expanded 27% to Ksh.972 billion, funded by customer deposits growth and acquisition of NBK. Net loans and advances grew 19% to close the period at Ksh. 577.5 billion while customer deposits were up 32% to Ksh. 772.7 billion.

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