The Government of Rwanda has approved the acquisition of Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) by Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB Rwanda), the latter announced on Monday in its latest regulatory filings.
BPR is currently owned by London-listed financial services firm, Atlas Mara Limited.
According to the Nairobi-based KCB Group, the parent firm of KCB Rwanda, they are also awaiting approval from Tanzania where the regional lender has also set sights on African Banking Corporation Tanzania (BancABC).
KCB Group announced in November, last year, it had signed a deal with Atlas Mara to acquire a 62.06 per cent stake in BPR and a 100 per cent stake in BancABC, which is also owned by Atlas Mara.
The Kenyan lender has previously expressed interest in expanding their ownership of BPR to 100 per cent.
“The Company has secured regulatory approval for the transactions with respect to its investments in Rwanda and Botswana, and parties are now in the process of concluding pre-completion conditions. Regulatory approval is pending with respect to the transaction with respect to its investment in Tanzania,” reads part of the filings published on the KCB’s website.
High rate of financial inclusion and digital banking have forced Kenyan lenders to look outside the Kenyan local markets for growth.
Following the acquisition, however, it is expected that KCB will double its market share to become the second-largest bank in the country and solidify KCB Group’s leadership position.
In Tanzania, the subsequent merger of BancABC with KCB Bank Tanzania, another subsidiary of KCB Group, will integrate KCB Tanzania’s strong retail and corporate banking franchise with BancABC’s retail and commercial banking operations.
KCB currently has operations in six countries — Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan— and a representative office in Ethiopia.
The KCB deal comes months after Equity Bank Group called off its plan to acquire four banking subsidiaries from Atlas Mara Limited in a move aimed at preserving its capital in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.The parties had initiated talks in April last year, but the negotiations targeting Atlas Mara’s units in Rwanda, Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique dragged on until the pandemic hit.The London-listed firm had said then it would seek another buyer for the four banks after the Equity deal collapsed.When contacted, BPR Managing Director Maurice Torotich confirmed the approval of the acquisition by the regulator. Toroitch said that with all approvals granted the next steps include takeover and integration which is currently underway.The bank has previously […]