Equity Bank in US$98m deal to acquire banks in four African countries

KENYA – Kenya’s leading financial services provider, Equity Bank has announced that it has agreed to acquire banking units in four African countries including Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Rwanda.

According to a Business Daily report, the banks are owned by a London Stock Exchange-listed firm, and the acquisition forms part of the bank’s ambitious pan-Africa expansion strategy.

The deal will see Equity buy out ATMA-owned African Banking Corporation’s (ABC) operations in Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique as well as a majority stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR).

The transaction is subject to shareholders and regulatory approvals agreed through a share swap to exchange certain banking assets of ATMA in four countries for shares in EGH.

Speaking on the development, Equity Bank’s Group chief executive James Mwangi said ATMA will, on successful completion of the agreement, be allotted a 6.27% stake, or 252,482,300 shares in Equity in a share swap whose value has been put at Sh10.7 billion (approximately US$105 million).

“The actual aggregate consideration ultimately payable will be that set out in the detailed transaction agreements negotiated following completion of the confirmatory due diligence and may be subject to adjustment (both positive and negative),” said Equity in a statement.

“Further, actual aggregate consideration could include a conditional deferred amount.”

The value will also be based on the performance of the target companies through consummation of the transactions and the net asset value of the banks at the time of closing relative to the net asset value they reported as at December 31, 2018.

Besides DRC, Zambia and Mozambique, the expansion strategy had also targeted Malawi, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon.

Apart from Kenya, Equity already operate in five other markets Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.

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