Bank of Zambia okays Access Bank, African Banking Corporation merger

Bisola David
Bisola David
Bank of Zambia okays Access Bank, African Banking Corporation merger

The Bank of Zambia has given its final regulatory permission for one of Access Holdings Plc’s subsidiaries, Access Bank Zambia Ltd, to buy and integrate African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited into its current operations.

According to the announcement made by the company secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, the transaction in 2022 already obtained clearance from both the competition commission of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa and the Central Bank of Nigeria.

African banking company Zambia limited’s integration into Access Bank
Atlas Mara Zambia will now be integrated and merged into Access Bank’s operations, which is likely to result in the creation of one of Zambia’s top five banks.

Commenting on the transaction, Access Holdings’ Group CEO Dr, Herbert Wigwe, said the transaction “builds on our earlier acquisition and merger of Cvmont Bank Plc into Access Bank Zambia and underscores our resolve to strengthen our presence in Zambia, a key African market that fits into our strategic focus on geographic earnings growth and diversification,” Access Holdings Group CEO Dr. Herbert Wigwe said in a statement.

He said the two banks’ merger will result in significant synergies between Atlas Mara Zambia’s market-leading retail and public sector capabilities and Access Zambia’s world-class wholesale and transaction banking capabilities to form a market leading Universal platform that will significantly impact the Zambian market.

Access Bank Bank Plc had previously stated that it had signed a contract with Atlas Mara Limited regarding a potential merger between Access Bank Zambia Limited and African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (Atlas Mara Zambia)

The bank just purchased a majority share in BancABC Botswana, its fourth acquisition of 2021, which precedes this event.

Ekwochi stated that after the deal is completed, the bank is anticipated to keep or expand its present ownership in Access Bank Zambia.

The bank said that as a result of the agreement, it would have more than 70 branches and agencies, approximately $1 billion in total assets, and more than 300,000 clients nationwide.

“Subject to the fulfillment of conditions, including regulatory clearances in Nigeria and Zambia,” the proposed acquisition is anticipated to close in 2022.”

Group managing director and chief executive officer of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, commented on the planned merger, saying: “This deal represents another milestone that moves us closer to the attainment of our broader strategic objectives.

“Our presence in Zambia and the larger COMESA region, Africa’s largest free trade area, is projected to increase as a result of the merger of Atlas Mara Zambia and Access Bank Zambia.

“We are especially enthusiastic about the possibility of increased earnings contribution to the bank from the expanded Access Bank Zambia, which has also announced the appointment of a new Managing Director, Mr. Lishala Situmbeko, who brings over 25 years of relevant experience and deep local relationships into our Zambian operation.

The statement reads, “Today’s announcement is a testament to our great confidence in the long-term prospects for the Zambian economy as well as the strong faith of the Zambian market in the Bank’s country and regional strategy.”

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