Nigeria’s Access Bank expands operations in Zambia, acquires local Cavmont Bank
By Samuel Bankole
Nigeria’s Access Bank on Thursday said it has entered into a definitive agreement with Cavmont Capital Holdings Zambia (CCHZ) to acquire one of the country’s leading commercial lenders, Cavmont Bank Limited, a subsidiary of CCHZ.
In a regulatory filing on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), the Nigerian lender said the agreement with CCHZ will lead to the merger of the operations of Cavmont Bank with its local unit Access Bank of Zambia (ABZ).
“This is a highly complementary transaction, combining ABZ wholesale and trade finance capabilities with Cavmont Bank’s retail and commercial banking operations,” Access Bank said in the filing.
Under the term of the agreement, ABZ will acquire the entire issued ordinary share capital, assets, and liabilities of Cavmont Bank, while Capricorn Group Limited, the ultimate majority shareholder of CCHZ, will invest at least $16.5 million of preference shares into ABZ.
“Capricorn will hold preference shares in the enlarged ABZ for a period of five years, after which the preference shares will be acquired by Access Bank Plc,” the statement said. The lender said the transaction is expected to be concluded before the end of the 2020 financial year.
Herbert Wigwe, the chief executive officer of Access Bank said the transaction will strengthen Access Bank’s presence in Zambia while furthering its footprint for growth in the continental largest free trade area, COMESA region.
Chief executive of Cavmont Bank, Peet van der Walt said the proposed merger with Access Bank Zambia accelerates the bank’s strategy and positions the lender as a top ten bank in the country.
“As a subsidiary of one of the largest banking groups in Africa, Access Bank Zambia has the scale, capabilities and ambition to enable the combined bank to pursue exciting strategic opportunities in Zambia,” Walt said.
He said he look forward to working closely with Access Bank to deliver the benefits of the merger to all the shareholders.#GFD