Dutch banking giant Rabobank, a leading food and agribusiness financier, has joined the list of Kenya’s Equity Bank Group shareholders.
Rabobank will jointly with the Netherlands Development Finance Company, a government-backed institution also known by its Dutch acronym FMO and Norfund, own an 11.99 per cent stake in Equity Holdings.
The shareholding in Equity Holdings is held through Arise, an investment company focused on the banking sector launched early this year.
“Arise is in the process of acquiring minority stakes in both NMB (National Microfinance Bank PLC (NMB) a commercial bank in Tanzania) and Equity Bank.
This is part of its business mandate of strengthening and developing effective financial institutions in Africa in order to spur economic growth and job creation,” Arise said in a statement.
Norfund, Norfinance, Rabobank and FMO contributed different investments already owned by them to the joint entity Arise in return for shareholdings in Arise.
The Africa focussed investment vehicle was formed in February this year with an eye on African financial sector players for acquisitions.Norfund and Norfinance AS (a joint venture investment company between Norfund and Norwegian private investors) two years ago completed the purchase of a 12.223 per cent interest in Equity Group Holdings representing half of Helios Investment Partners’ interest in Equity.“As such they (Rabobank and FMO) swapped their individual shareholdings in different banks for shareholdings in Arise,” Arise said in a statement.