Access Bank restates commitment to deepen presence in Kenyan market after discontinuation of Sidian Bank acquisition

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Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest lender, Access Bank PLC, has cited the failure to fulfil some requisite conditions as the reason for calling off the proposed acquisition of Sidian Bank.

Uba Group

The discontinuation ends Access Bank PLC’s binding agreement with Centum to acquire the entire 83.4 percent shareholding held by the investment company in Sidian Bank Ltd.

According to a statement issued by the Bank’s parent company Access Corporation to the Nigerian Exchange Ltd on Thursday, 12 January 2022, “The completion of the proposed transaction was subject to fulfilment or waiver of certain conditions before the Long Stop date as defined in the transaction agreement. Although regulators have all been supportive in engagements around the transaction, certain conditions precedent including those required of Sidian Bank which were needed to prudently complete the transaction have not been met and the parties were unable to reach an agreement on the variation of these conditions in a manner to deliver the desired outcome for the parties.

“Consequently, we hereby notify the Nigerian Exchange Ltd and the investing public that the Sidian acquisition will no longer be completed by the Bank.”

This development, however, will not affect Access Bank’s drive to promote regional trade finance and other cross-border banking services in the East African Community (EAC) and broader COMESA region as it works towards its vision to be Africa’s gateway to the world.

“To this end, Access Bank reassures stakeholders of its commitment to pursue responsible opportunities to expand its footprint in Kenya – which represents the largest market and trade corridor in East Africa.

“The Bank remains committed to growing its franchise in a safe and sound manner in Kenya and the broader East African Community and will continue to explore a variety of organic and inorganic opportunities to grow its market share therein,” the statement, signed by Sunday Ekwochi, Company Secretary of Access Holdings PLC, read.

The Point recalls that Access Bank already made a strategic entry into the highly-competitive Kenyan financial ecosystem through the acquisition of Transnational Bank Plc of Kenya (now Access Bank Kenya) in 2020.

Other notable strategic expansion executed by Access Bank in recent years include acquiring the defunct Diamond Bank Plc in 2018, a process completed in 2019. In 2021 the Bank announced the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited and merged its existing operations in Zambia following the acquisition.

The Bank also completed the acquisition of Grobank of South Africa in 2021, and in the same year completed the acquisition of about 78.15 percent holding in African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited.

Access Bank’s expansion drive promises great value for stakeholders and presents enormous opportunities to support the growth of trade and payment ecosystem.