Kenyan lender Equity to acquire second-largest bank in DR Congo

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A general view shows the Equity Bank headquarters in the Upper Hill district of Kenya’s capital Nairobi-Photo by Equity Bank

Kenyan lender Equity Group Holdings-EGH is planning to acquire a controlling equity stake in Commercial Bank of Congo (BCDC) with the aim of merging the business with its existing subsidiary in Democratic Republic of Congo.

The proposed deal will give new impetus to Equity’s Pan-Africa expansion strategy coming just after similar transactions that would see the bank increase units in Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania and Rwanda.

In a statement that was released on Monday, Equity chief executive James Mwangi said “By acquiring BCDC, Equity will be able to expand its footprint in Africa. Further, through the proposed transaction, EGH aims to provide access to competitive, tailored financial services to improve people’s lives and livelihoods whilst also delivering significant value to its stakeholders.”

BCDC is the second-largest bank in DR Congo with about 29 branches across the country including key cities Kinshasa, Goma and Lubumbashi. It has an asset base of about $700 million.

Equity, which already runs another subsidiary in the DRC, said the talks were likely to result in a cash transaction. It did not identify the BCDC shareholders who are selling.

Access to banking services in the resource-rich nation is low compared to other countries in the Sub-Saharan region. About 90 percent of the population is not banked. (Additional reporting by Business Daily)

 

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