First Bank Limited, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc, yesterday announced that it has completed the acquisition of equity interest in ICB Ghana, ICB Sierra Leone, ICB Guinea and ICB Gambia from International Commercial Bank Financial Group Holdings AG (ICBFGH) to expand its banking operations in Africa.
First Bank, which announced the acquisition through a statement made available to THISDAY, added that the transaction had been effective through the conclusion of a conditional sale and purchase agreement with ICBFGH.
As a result of the acquisition, the Bank will consolidate its position as one of the largest corporate and retail banking financial institutions in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa).
According to FBN, the transaction delivers against its stated ambition to win significant market share, expand its pan-African footprint and diversify earnings while delivering value to shareholders.
Commenting on the transaction, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Bisi Onasanya said: “The acquisition of ICBGFH assets in Ghana, Guinea, Gambia and Sierra Leone fulfils the first stage of our ambitions to steadily build a broader and more diverse footprint across Africa. We are committed to developing a multi-local business model that broadens our geographic revenue base while providing enhanced service delivery to our new customers.
“By leveraging the transfer of FirstBank’s, expertise and execution capabilities, supported by the Bank’s robust risk management and corporate governance policies, there is a strong opportunity for an appreciable rise in the combined entity’s asset turnover over time while net revenue synergies are set to improve profit margins.”
He emphasised that the transaction would have a considerable strategic benefits directly aligned with First Bank’s growth plans and provides a very strong platform for regional growth as the Bank expands its operations to take advantage of opportunities across the wider continent.
“Expansion offers a range of benefits, including new growth options, a diversified and broader geographic earnings profile, reduced country specific risk and enhanced customer benefits. By establishing a footprint in carefully selected African countries, the Bank expects to improve its ability to effectively serve an increasingly international profile of corporate and institutional customers,” he said.