The board of Access Holdings Plc, at the weekend announced that Access Bank Plc, its flagship subsidiary, is in talks to acquire majority stakes in subsidiaries of Standard Chartered Bank in four African countries of Angola, Cameroon, The Gambia and Sierra Leone, and the Consumer, Private & Business Banking business of Tanzania.
While the transactions has received the blessing of Tanzania’s banking regulators in respect of BancABC Tanzania, further regulatory approvals are expected, even as a notification by Sunday Ekwochi, company secretary of Access Holdings, expects that the transactions will be completed over the next 12 years.
Specifically, the notice explained that Access Bank “entered into a definitive agreement for the acquisition of majority equity stake in African Banking Corporation (Tanzania) Limited (BancABC Tanzania, a full-service commercial banking with over two decades of operations in Tanzania…”
The transactions in which Exotic Advisory acted as Financial Adviser, while DLA Piper acted as legal adviser, the notice added, present an opportunity for the Nigerian tier-1 bank “to deepen its operations in existing and new countries of presence across Africa.”
It reported that excellent progress has been made in integration planning, promising to work over the coming months with Standard Chartered and BancABC Tanzania to ensure a seamless integration.
The statement quoted Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director of Access Bank Plc as saying the transactions “represent a key step in our journess to build a strong global franchise focused on serving as a gateway for payments, investment and trade within Africa and between Africa and the rest of the world as we continue to deliver on our vision to be the World’s Most Respected African Bank.”
The group’s five-year growth plan, he continued, “will see us build a world-class payments gateway, leveraging the power of technology and supported by a dynamic ecosystem of local and international partnerships, enabling us to serve global payments and remittances efficiently.
“With our recent European expansion and our deepened presence in key trading corridors across Africa, we will bridge the gap between cross-border and domestic transfers across all business segments,” he added, stressing the bank’s commitment to impacting its host communities positively.
The statement also quoted Herbert Wigwe, the group chief executive of Access Holdings as saying the transactions mark a significant leap forward for the bank, while reinforcing “our strategy of strengthening our footprints across Sub-Saharan Africa to harness synergistic opportunities for sustainable income diversification and profitability.”
Wigwe restated commitment to the group’s five-year strategy, which envisions our banking subsidiary emerging a true leader in banking services across the African continent.”