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KCB to acquire two lenders at Sh4.4b

By Dominic Omondi | November 27th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

KCB Group CEO Joshua Oigara during KCB Group 2019 half-year investor briefing. [Standard]

KCB Bank has moved to snap up banks that were snubbed by its rival Equity as it expands its network in the region.

The lender says it has signed an agreement with London-listed Atlas Mara to acquire the latter’s banks in Rwanda and Tanzania at Sh4.4 billion.

KCB will pay Sh3.5 billion for 62 per cent stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) and Sh872 million for the entire stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania.

Joshua Oigara, the KCB Group chief executive said the transaction was part of the listed lender’s growth strategy, noting that the transactions if successful will cement the bank’s leadership position in the region.

“The transaction fits within the group’s expansion strategy and will see us increase our market share and distribution network across Rwanda and Tanzania and improve our operating leverage by enabling us to deliver our existing product offerings to a wider base of customers,” he said.

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He added that the acquisition will see subsidiaries contribute 25 per cent to KCB’s growth from the current 10 per cent.

The bank will pay cash consideration for the BPR shares based on the net asset value at completion of the transaction and using a price-to-book multiple of 1.09 times.

“Once the transaction is completed, the group’s Rwanda and Tanzania businesses are expected to have stronger financial credentials to support business growth in the post-Covid-19 macroeconomic recovery,” Oigara said.

KCB recently acquired National Bank of Kenya as consolidation in the banking sector picks up pace.

In August, Equity Bank, the second-largest lender in Kenya, shelved plans to acquire the same businesses, citing challenges occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic

KCB expects to complete the acquisition in 12 months.

KCB recorded a 43 per cent drop in net profit in the first nine months of this year, posting Sh10.9 billion after it set aside a big chunk of cash for possible defaults.

The lender posted Sh19.2 billion profit in September last year.

Loan loss provision this year increased more than three times to Sh20 billion in a period that saw lenders restructure loans running into billions of shillings.

The bank cited a challenging year for business, which caused it to forego some earnings.


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