Access Bank has joined the list of conventional banks that seek to diversify and restructure their operations into a holding structure. The bank announced its Approval-in-Principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to restructure into a holding company.
This is contained in a press release signed by the Bank’s secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, and made public yesterday. The proposed holding company structure would enable the bank to further accelerate its objectives around business diversification, improved operational efficiencies, talent retention, and robust governance.
In addition, the bank also disclosed its intent in expanding its territory within the African space, by bolstering its market in Mozambique and South Africa. This is a sequel to the bank’s recent transaction with Cavmont Bank in Zambia, and further embeds the bank’s presence in the SADC region.
As regards the expansion in Mozambique, the disclosure revealed that Access Bank has received regulatory permission to operate in Mozambique, under the name ‘Access Bank Mozambique’. The subsidiary also entered into an agreement with ABC Holdings Limited, to acquire African Banking Corporation (BancABC Mozambique) for cash, in a combination of definitive and contingent consideration.
In the South African markets, the Bank disclosed that it has entered into a definitive agreement with GroCapital Holdings, to invest into Grobank Limited over two tranches, with an initial cash consideration for a 49% shareholding, and an additional increase to a majority stake in the second tranche.
Why this matters
The Bank through the corporate announcement, announced its readiness in asserting itself as a key driver in the African banking space, by ensuring a connected and broader Africa, as a strategic focus for geographic earnings, growth and diversification. These transactions will remarkably boost the presence of the bank in the SADC region and Africa as a whole, and all other things being equal, may result to broader customer base, broader market and increased chances for profitability, liquidity, and continuity.
Commenting on the deals, the GMD/CEO of Access Bank, Mr. Herbert Wigwe stated that, “We have consistently said we are focused on building the scale needed to become a leading African bank; one that leverages our experienced and growing talent base and key stakeholder partnerships, towards driving sustainable impact and profitability. Today’s announcement demonstrates further commitment to delivering our strategic aspirations of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the world, in line with our vision to be the world’s most respected African bank.”
He further remarked that, “these transactions will significantly strengthen our presence in Southern Africa, and further our footprint for growth in the SADC region. With a broader presence across the continent, Access Bank will be better placed to support our customers, who are increasingly looking towards intra African growth. The proposed transactions will accelerate the Bank’s momentum towards delivering world class banking services to an expanded customer base across the continent.”
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