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I&M acquires Uganda Orient Bank in raid

By Lewis Njoka
Tuesday, July 21st, 2020
Orient Bank. Photo/Courtesy
In summary
    • Last year I&M Holdings spent Sh430.6 million in investments in joint ventures in Uganda and Mauritius.
    • Company statements of 2019, Orient Bank owns a total asset base of USh814 billion (Sh24 billion).

Financial services firm I&M Holdings Ltd has announced plans to acquire majority shares of Uganda’s Orient Bank as lender signals an ambitious foray into the East Africa region.

In a statement, the institution said an agreement was reached on July 17 to acquire 90 per cent of Orient Bank’s issued share capital, in another attempt by a Kenyan lender to conquer the region.

Completion of the deal, however, will be subject to approval from various entities including the Central Bank of Kenya, the Bank of Uganda, the Capital Markets Authority and the shareholders of I&M Holdings.

Shareholders

“Shareholders of I&M Holdings Plc are advised that the Company has on 17th July 2020 entered into an agreement with the shareholders of Orient Bank Limited for the sale and purchase of shares comprising 90 per cent of the issued share capital of Orient Bank Limited, a company incorporated in the Republic of Uganda,” said I&M in a statement.

Further details of the transaction will be availed to shareholders in due course, said the lender, warning that the proposed transaction could affect I&M share value and called on shareholders and the public to exercise the necessary caution.

The company has operations in Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Mauritius. 

If the acquisition goes through, I&M will join other Kenyan banks which have a presence in the East African region namely DTB, KC, Equity and Co-operative.

I&M plans to expand into Uganda date back to 2013 when it announced that it would use part of the Sh10 billion it raised in a bond to expand into the country.

Merger boom

Kenya’s insurance industry has recently also seen ‘mergers boom’ in the last three years in an aggressive drive by the firms to protect their market share. In 2014, I&M affirmed the resolve to venture in the Ugandan market saying it was willing to start from scratch if plans to acquire a Ugandan bank failed.

Last year, GA Insurance, owned by I&M Holdings, acquired 100 per cent of Uganda’s Nova Insurance Company as part of its plans to expand across the East African region. GA Insurance has operations in Kenya Uganda and Tanzania.

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