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Access Bank to acquire National Bank of Kenya

Access Holding has entered an agreement with the Kenyan-based KCB Group Plc for the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of National Bank of Kenya (NBK).

The move is part of the vision of the late co-founder and former Group Chief Executive Officer, Herbert Wigwe.

The deal is currently awaiting regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Kenya, the Central Bank of Nigeria, the COMESA Competition Commission, and notifications to other relevant regulators.

According to a statement filed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX), on Wednesday, Access Holdings’ secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, said the completion of the deal is subject to regulatory approvals from central banks in Kenya and Nigeria.

The value of the acquisition was, however, not disclosed by the lender.

“The Transaction is in furtherance of the Bank’s African expansion strategy and will reposition it as a stronger and significant player in the Kenyan market whilst serving as a regional hub for our East African bloc anchored by a solidified balance sheet.”

“The parties will be working together in the coming months to fulfil the conditions precedent relating to the Transaction, which includes the regulatory approvals of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Kenya,” the statement said.

Reacting to the development, Acting Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Bolaji Agbede, said the proposed acquisition marks a significant step in the execution of our five-year strategic plan aimed at positioning the bank as Africa’s gateway to the world.

“The deal with NBK, a historically strong and well-known bank in Kenya with a balance sheet in excess of US$1.1 billion, presents a compelling opportunity to scale up our growth in the East African market.”

“We remain confident that our investments towards diversifying and strengthening the Bank’s long-term earnings profile will deliver significant value for our shareholders, customers, and wider stakeholder groups,” Agbede said.

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