UPDATED: Access Bank Plc acquires another bank in Mozambique

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Africa’s biggest retail bank Access Bank Plc is in-talks with Atlas Mara Limited to acquire ABC Holdings Corporation Limited in African Banking Corporation Mozambique (“BancABC Mozambique”)

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and other customary conditions precedent.

The transaction will include upfront cash consideration payable at closing equal to approximately 0.8 times book value as of 30 June 2020, plus additional cash consideration payable 24 months after closing of the transaction, subject to certain conditions.

Michael Wilkerson, Executive Chairman of Atlas Mara, said, “In 2019 the board of Atlas Mara commenced a review of strategic options to best drive shareholder value.

This included a review of each banking operation, and potentially partnering in or exiting markets where we do not have a clear near-term path to acceptable scale and profitability.

As part of this review we have evaluated indications of interest from a number of potential partners and transaction counterparties.

This transaction with Access Bank is an important step in our broader repositioning of the Group as a streamlined holding company, with an increased focus on core markets.

BancABC Mozambique has shown remarkable resilience this year during the pandemic, and we commend the management team for their work in serving our customers. By combining with Access Bank’s infrastructure and existing footprint, they will be well equipped to continue on the positive trajectory achieved to date.”

“As communicated in June 2020, Atlas Mara remains committed to implementing the previously announced strategic decisions of the board, which include focusing on improving performance in core markets, streamlining the holding company structure and related costs, and exiting or partnering in certain countries.

Access Bank noted that the first tranche is an initial cash consideration for a 49 per cent shareholding and will be increased to a majority stake in the second tranche, which are still subject to regulatory approvals.

Access Bank’s Group Managing Director Herbert Wigwe, said that the management was consistently focused on building the scale needed to become a leading African bank.

This, he said, would be based on a principle that leverages its experienced and growing talent base and key stakeholder partnerships towards driving sustainable impact and profitability.

He said, “Today’s announcement demonstrates further commitment to delivering our strategic aspirations of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World in line with our vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.

“These transactions will significantly strengthen our presence in Southern Africa and further our footprint for growth in the South African Development Community region.

“With a broader presence across the continent, Access Bank will be better placed to support our customers who are increasingly looking towards intra Africa growth.

“The proposed transactions will accelerate the Bank’s momentum towards delivering world class banking services to an expanded customer base across Africa.”

He added that goal of the bank remained to reach and impact 100 million unique customers across the continent.

The acquisition follows regulatory approval to commence operations in Mozambique under the name Access Bank Mozambique.

The bank said the transaction would be funded from the capital invested in Access Bank Mozambique and would result in Access Bank Mozambique becoming the 7th largest bank in the country, from the 20th spot.

The bank in August this year acquired Cavmont Bank in Zambia.

Access Bank in the statement said it also received the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Approval-in-Principle to restructure to a holding company on Wednesday.

The new holding structure will also boost Access Bank’s operational efficiencies, talent retention as well as healthy governance.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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