KCB Group acquires Rwandese bank from Atlas Mara

Friday, August 27th, 2021 00:00 | By
Inside a banking hall in Nairobi. Photo/PD/ALICE MBURU

KCB Group has completed the acquisition of 62 per cent shares in Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) from London Stock Exchange (LSE)-listed financial firm, Atlas Mara in a process that cost the bank Sh4.92 billion.

The lender indicated the acquisition was completed on August 25, 2021, after securing the requisite regulatory approvals in Kenya and Rwanda.

Take-over of the Rwandese bank now paves the way for a merger with KCB Bank Rwanda and the creation of a new entity, BPR Bank.

Completion of the process makes KCB Group the majority shareholder in BPR, Rwanda’s second biggest bank.

Joshua Oigara, KCB Group managing director and CEO said they will leverage BPR’s strong retail branch network and small and medium enterprise (SME) to achieve financial inclusion and economic empowerment in the region.

“The combined history of BPR and KCB will take the group to greater heights, giving us a stronger edge to play a bigger role in driving the financial inclusion and economic empowerment agenda in the East African region,” he said Oigara.

Other shareholders

KCB Group is also in talks with BPR’s other shareholders with a view to fully acquiring the Rwandese bank.

In May this year, KCB shareholders gave their approval to acquire 100 per cent of all BPR issued ordinary shares, and a green light to also fully acquire Tanzania’s African Banking Corporation (BancABC).

BancABC is 96.6 per cent owned by ABC Holdings limited, with the remaining 3.4 per cent shares held by Tanzania Development Corporation. The proposed acquisition is pending some approvals.

“The acquisition of BPR and BancABC provides KCB with the opportunity to rapidly scale up its balance sheet and revenue streams, while leveraging on cost synergies, effectively putting it and all its stakeholders on a path to greater prosperity,’’ said Oigara.

KCB Group has a presence in Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi and South Sudan, in addition to a representative office in Ethiopia. It is also gearing for entry into the Democratic Republic of Congo market.

Oigara was quoted last week saying the group is in negotiations with “two to three banks” in the DR Congo, as it looks to settle in Kinshasa by the end of the year.

“That is our key focus for the second half of this year. We are looking at two to three potential opportunities in that market.

They look exciting,” Mr Oigara told The EastAfrican. In 2020, KCB, which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange, suspended its cross-border expansion plan due to the Covid-19 crisis.

KCB Group is expected to double its market share and become the second-largest lender in Rwanda upon the acquisition of BPR and among top 10 banks in Tanzania after the acquisition of BancABC.

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