Nigeria’s Access Bank renames Transnational Bank after Sh1.4bn buyout

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Central Bank of Kenya said Friday that the Kenyan lender will now be known as Access Bank (Kenya), indicating the end of the buyout deal.

The closure of the deal now paves the way for Access Bank to inject additional capital in Transnational, which had 0.25 percent stake in December 2018, as it seeks a return to profitability.
Access Bank, owned by business mogul Herbert Wigwe, can influence board and executive changes after the deal closure.

Nigerian bank has renamed Transnational Bank after completing the purchase of lenders from close associates of former President Daniel Moi for Sh1.4 billion.

Central Bank of Kenya said Friday that the Kenyan lender will now be known as Access Bank (Kenya), indicating the end of the buyout deal.

The closure of the deal now paves the way for Access Bank to inject additional capital in Transnational, which had 0.25 percent stake in December 2018, as it seeks a return to profitability.

Access Bank, owned by business mogul Herbert Wigwe, can influence board and executive changes after the deal closure.

“Transnational Bank PLC has, by resolution of the Board and the approval of the Registrar of Companies, effected a change of name from Transnational Bank PLC to Access Bank (Kenya) Public Limited Company, with effect from the 21st August, 2020,” said CBK governor Patrick Njoroge in a notice.

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Top owners of the 36-year-old Kenyan bank with 28 branches were companies owned by close associates of the late Moi, including Joshua Kulei, Simeon Nyachae and the former Vice President George Saitoti.

Mr Wigwe had said the lender would buy in cash and inject fresh capital into Transnational. The bank is the largest in Nigeria with assets worth Sh1.17 trillion.

Sovereign Trust, a company associated with Mr Kulei, a former aide of the ex-President, held 23.03 per cent shareholding in Transnational.

Simbi Investors, linked with Mr Nyachae, a former Cabinet minister during Mr Moi’s administration, held 8.2 million shares or 4.11 percent of the bank.

Losupuk Ltd, associated with the late former vice President George Saitoti, holds 2.79 per cent.

Transnational, with assets worth Sh9.7 billion, made a loss of Sh83.9 million in the financial year ended December 2019, from a loss of Sh71.8 million the previous year.

The buyout by Access has deepened the presence of Nigerian banks in Kenya with United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Guarantee Trust Bank already in the market. The Kenyan banking sector has witnessed increased interest in the last seven years, with mergers and acquisitions happening.

Egypt’s largest private lender Commercial International Bank in April received CBK’s nod to acquire a controlling stake in Mayfair Bank.

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