The Central Bank of Zambia has given approval to the acquisition of African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited by Access Bank.
In a statement released on Friday, 24 March 2023, by Access Holdings Plc, the parent company of Access Bank, it was revealed that the approval came after both firms had obtained that of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission.
Prime Business Africa gathered that with the approval received from the Central Bank of Zambia, the acquisition will now be completed in the third quarter (Q3) of 2023.
Updating the capital market as regards the deal, Access Holdings said the acquisition will be conducted by its subsidiary in the Southern African country, Access Zambia.
“Further to its announcement on October 25, 2021, Access Holdings Plc (Access Holdings) is pleased to announce that Access Bank Zambia Limited (“Access Zambia”), a subsidiary of its flagship subsidiary, Access Bank Plc , has received final regulatory approval from the Central Bank of Zambia for the acquisition and merger of African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (“Atlas Mara Zambia”) into its existing operations (‘the Transaction’).
“The Central Bank of Nigeria and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission had earlier granted their “no objection” to the Transaction in 2022.
“Access Zambia will now move towards integrating and merging Atlas Mara Zambia into its operations, which is expected to create one of the top five banks in Zambia,” the statement reads.
Addressing the acquisition, the Group Chief Executive Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, said: “The transaction builds on our earlier acquisition and merger of Cavmont 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.
“The combination of the two banks will create significant synergies between Access Zambia’s world class wholesale and transaction banking capabilities and Atlas Mara Zambia’s market leading retail and public sector capabilities to form a market leading universal banking platform that will greatly impact the Zambia market.”
Meanwhile, recall Access Bank has been purchasing banks across Africa, acquiring Cavmont Bank Limited in Zambia, Finibanco Angola S.A. in Angola and South Africa’s Grobank Limited.
Note that Access Bank has previously acquired African Banking Corporation in Mozambique and is close to acquiring another subsidiary in Botswana.
However, the Nigerian lender’s attempt to acquire Sidian Bank in Kenya failed, as both companies couldn’t agree on the fulfilment or waiver of certain conditions before the “Long Stop date” for the completion of the transaction.