Access Bank Zambia Limited is on the cusp of merging with African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (ABC) following an endorsement of the move by the Central Bank of Zambia.
Access Corporation, the parent company of the bank, announced this in a regulatory filing on Friday.
The business combination was first announced in October 2021 when Access Bank Plc entered a binding pact with Atlas Mara Zambia, owners of ABC Zambia, later culminating in the acquisition of the latter.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission had earlier granted their “non-objection” to the transaction in 2022,” Access Corporation said in the note seen by PREMIUM TIMES.
Access Bank Zambia is hoping to become one of the top lenders in the Southern African country following the merger. It is expected to deliver 70 branches and agencies and total assets in the neighbourhood of $1 billion as well as over 300,000 customers in Zambia.
The Zambian unit of Nigeria’s biggest bank by assets had in 2020 merged with Cavmont Bank Zambia.
CEO Herbert Wigwe said, “The transaction builds on our earlier acquisition and merger of Cavmont Bank Plc into Access Bank Zambia and underscores our resolve to strengthen our presence in Zambia, a key African market that fits into our strategic focus on geographic earnings growth and diversification.”
Mr Wigwe further stated that the deal will spur crucial synergies between “Access Zambia’s world-class wholesale and transaction banking capabilities and Atlas Mara Zambia’s market-leading retail and public sector capabilities.”
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He expects that the collaboration will produce a market-leading global platform that will hugely transform the Zambia market.
British Virgin Islands-based Atlas Mara, which has stakes in a number of African lenders, sold its 50 per cent stake in Union Bank to rival Titan Trust in a deal announced at the tail end of 2021.
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