The Kenya Commercial Bank has submitted a second offer for Imperial Bank after its initial bid was turned down.
The other major bidder - Diamond Trust Bank (DTB) - was said to have pulled out, putting KCB in pole position.
“The revised proposal was received from KCB while the other bidder has withdrawn from the process,” said Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) in a notice yesterday.
DTB was said to have offered to take up a 30 per cent stake of Imperial Bank’s good books in a deal similar to the one between Chase Bank and State Bank of Mauritius (SBM).
KCB’s offer has remained under wraps.
“CBK and KDIC (Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation) will engage KCB in discussions aimed at maximising the value for depositors,” said CBK.
Imperial Bank was put in receivership in August 2015 with Sh20 billion liquidity (cash and Treasury bills) and Sh41 billion on its loan book.
It had customer deposits of about Sh58 billion, part of which was paid out in tranches under KDIC.
Deals involving failed banks have changed the banking landscape. The one involving SBM propelled the bank into a tier two lender just a year after acquiring Fidelity Commercial Bank.
DTB, on the other hand, consolidated operations with Habib Bank and was until the latest development seen as a front-runner in the race to acquire Imperial Bank.
CBK’s refusal of KCB’s initial offer in April shows that the regulator does not fancy curve out deals that offer prospective buyers good books for free.
In fact, SBM had pulled out of the race for Chase Bank when it was initially put up for sale. Some 12 institutions had expressed their interest — three local banks, four foreign banks and a consortium of five financial institutions.
Société Générale, France’s third-largest bank by assets and the sixth largest in Europe, led the pack of the six investors that were finally given the green light to make a bid offer alongside South Africa’s First Rand and Stanbic Bank and local lenders KCB and I&M Bank.