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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Nigeria’s Access Bank to merge Zambia unit with Atlas Mara subsidiary

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By Samuel Bankole

Nigeria’s Access Bank on Monday said it has executed a binding agreement with Atlas Mara Limited to merge its Zambia subsidiary, Access Bank Zambia with African Banking Corporation Zambia.

In a regulatory filing with the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), Access Bank said “Upong completion of this prospective transaction, the bank is expected to retain or increase its current shareholding in the Access bank Zambia, which following the merger will have over 70 branches and agencies, approximately $1 billion in total assets and over 300,00 customers in Zambia.”

It said the transaction will not require “significant additional capital investment from the bank given the capital and other synergies created from the merger between Access Bank Zambia with Cavmont Bank in 2020.”

Access Bank said the transaction is expected to be concluded in 2022, subject to fulfillment of conditions precedent, including regulatory approvals in Nigeria and Zambia.

Herbert Wigwe, the chief executive of Access Bank said  the transaction represents another milestone that brings the lender closer to the achievement of its broader strategic objectices.

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“The merger of Atlas Mara Zambia with Access Bank Zambia is expected to augment our presence in Zambia and broader COMESA region, Africa’s largest free trade area.

“Today’s announcment is a testament to the strong confidence of the Zambian market in the bank’s country and regional strategy as well as our srong confidence in the long term prosepcts for the Zambian economy.”

Two weeks ago, Access Bank announced the acquisition of 78.15 percent stake in African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited, owned by Atlas Mara.

The bank said the acquisition would form part of the bank’s linkage point for trade and payments in Southern Africa and the larger Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa region.

BankABC, the statement noted is Botswana’s fifth largest bank with sustainable capitalisation and franchise to aid its growth in its local market.

Also in May, the bank completed all regulatory procedures on the acquisition of South Africa’s Grobank Limited and officially renamed the bank Access Bank South Africa Limited.

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