Access Holdings, on Wednesday, disclosed that its subsidiary, Access Bank, has sealed a binding agreement to acquire National Bank of Kenya (NBK) from KCB Group Plc, to boost its presence in the East African market.

This is the second acquisition in Kenya for the Nigerian lender after acquiring Transnational Bank Ltd. in 2019.

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

“Access Holdings Plc (“Access Holdings”) today announces that its flagship subsidiary, Access Bank Plc (“Access Bank” or “the Bank”) has entered into a binding agreement with Kenyan-based KCB Group Plc (“KCB”) for the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of National Bank of Kenya Limited (“NBK” or ‘the Target’’) from KCB. (‘the Transaction’) KCB is also the holding company of KCB Bank Ltd, Kenya’s largest commercial bank,” the company said.

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 include the regulatory approvals of the Central Bank of Nigeria and the Central Bank of Kenya. 

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“Sequel to the completion of the Transaction, the Target would be combined with Access Bank Kenya Plc to create an enlarged franchise in the pursuit of our strategic objective for the Kenyan and East African markets.”

Commenting on the transaction, Bolaji Agbede, acting group chief executive officer of Access Holdings, 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,” Agbede said.

“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.”

Access Holdings said it will keep the market updated on the progress of the transaction.

Meanwhile, on January 17, Access Bank entered an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Finance Trust Bank Limited (FTB) in Uganda.