Access Bank Plc has confirmed that it has entered into a definitive and binding agreement with ABC Holdings Limited, a subsidiary of Atlas Mara Limited, to acquire a 78.15% shareholding in BancABC Botswana (Formerly known as African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited).
According to a disclosure signed by the company’s secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, the transaction which is subject to pre-requisite regulatory approvals is expected to be sealed before the end of the second quarter of 2021 (Q2,2021).
In December 2020, a renowned global finance website, Bloomberg had earlier broken the news of a possible deal between the aforementioned firms, after a tip-off by some insider sources who pleaded anonymous. According to Bloomberg sources, if successful, the deal would mark the second transaction between Atlas Mara and Access Bank, after the latter had agreed to buy the former’s Mozambique unit at the end of September.
The recent announcement is a boost to Access Bank’s quest to expand its operations across the African continent. The Bank had earlier revealed its plans to be present in 22 African countries over the next five years. This goal has been the major driver in its recent acquisitions and merger including but not limited to its Cavmont (Zambia) and Grobank (South Africa) deals.
Confirming the BancABC talks, the GMD/CEO of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe said: ‘’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 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. This transaction complements our recent strategic growth acquisitions in South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique.
‘’We are building a bank of the future that Africans across Africa and the world will be proud of, and look forward to welcoming employees, customers and other stakeholders of BancABC Botswana to Access Bank.’’
Naijabusiness.com.ng gathered that the decision to sell BancABC might be connected to the recent financial difficulties the bank is facing especially with respect to the principal holders of its $81million convertible bond originally due for settlement in December 2020. BancABC Botswana is the fifth largest bank in Bostwana. It was formed in 1997 through a merger of First Merchant Bank and Heritage Investment Bank. Atlas Mara bought the bank in 2014 for $265 million.