Access Bank gets CBN approval to restructure into holding company
Access Bank, the biggest retail bank in Africa, has announced that it has received CBN’s approval-in-principle to restructure to a holding company.
The bank has also received regulatory approvals to commence operations in Mozambique under the name Access Bank Mozambique, S.A. (Access Bank Mozambique), and plans to acquire a majority holding in South Africa’s Grobank Limited.
The bank revealed in a notification which was filed at the Nigerian Stock Exchange and signed by Sunday Ekwochi, Company Secretary, that its desire to operate as a holding company would enable the bank to further accelerate its objectives around business diversification, improved operational efficiency, talent retention as robust governance.
With its vision of being Africa’s gateway to the world, Access announced that its subsidiary, Access Bank Mozambique, has entered into a definitive agreement with ABC Holdings Limited(ABC Holdings), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas Mara Limited (Atlas Mara) to acquire African Banking Corporation (Mozambique), S.A., (BancABC Mozambique) for cash, in a combination of definitive and contingent considerations.
Access Bank has also entered into a definitive agreement with GroCapital Holdings (GroCapital) to invest in Grobank Limited over two tranches. The first is an initial cash consideration for a 49 percent shareholding and subsequently increased to a majority stake in the second tranche.
Both tranches are subject to various regulatory approvals and the overall transaction is also subject to Grobank’s shareholder approvals. GroCapital, whose shareholders include the Public Investment Corporation – which doubles as Africa’s largest investment manager, and Fairfax Africa Holdings – a leading global investor, will retain an existing but diluted shareholding in Grobank as part of the outlined transaction terms.
Speaking on these developments, Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO Access Bank said: “We have consistently said that 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.
“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 Africa growth. The proposed transactions will accelerate the Bank’s momentum towards delivering world-class banking services to an expanded customer base across Africa. Our goal remains to reach and impact 100 million unique customers across the continent by 2022.”
Over the years, Access Bank has evolved both in innovativeness, prestige, and strength. The bank currently holds the position of the number one retail bank in Africa with a customer base of over 40 million.
It has upheld its ‘more than banking’ promise which has inarguably given them an advantage over their competitors. The Bank employs over 28,000 people in its operations in Nigeria and has subsidiaries in Sub- Saharan Africa and the United Kingdom (with a branch in Dubai, UAE) and representative offices in China, Lebanon, and India.