By Olushola Akinyele
Access Bank Holdings Plc has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Access Bank Plc has entered into a binding agreement with Centum Investment Company Plc (‘Centum’) for the acquisition of the entire 83.4% equity stake held by Centum in Sidian Bank Limited.
The Company’s Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi in a statement made available to the PRESSTV, said the purchase consideration is approximately up to N15 billion ($37 million), representing a price to book multiple of 1.1x based on the audited 31 March 2022 shareholders equity of Sidian.
According to the statement, Sidian will be merged with Access Bank’s subsidiary in Kenya, Access Bank Kenya to create a stronger banking institution better positioned to serve Kenya market.
However, speaking on the development, the Group Chief Executive, Access Corporation, Herbert Wigwe, said; “The growth transaction being implemented in Kenya represents the relentless focus and execution of our strategic objectives within our banking subsidiary even as we grow the other businesses within Access Corporation’s core segments.”
“The acquisition of Sidian is a significant step-up in scale and potential for Access Bank in Kenya which represents the largest market and trade corridor in East Africa.”
“The significant increase in scale and customer base presents us with enormous opportunities to support growth in the various ecosystems we are building in our trade and payment business. The economies of scale that derive therefrom will continue to drive and enhance contributions to all stakeholders”.
Also, Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank, Mr. Roosevelt Ogbonna, said; “This transaction builds on our earlier acquisition of the former transactional Bank Plc (now Access Bank Kenya) and underscores our resolve to strengthen our presence in Kenya, a key African market that fits into our strategic focus for geographic earnings growth and diversification.”
“The acquisition and intended subsequent merger will create a strong and competitive balance sheet for Access Bank in Kenya, positioning us to be well placed to promote regional trade finance and other cross border banking services in the East African Community (EAC) and broader COMESA region.”
“The proposed combination with Access Bank Kenya would undoubtedly propel Access Bank into a strong contender in the Kenya market with enhanced capacity to play a more impactful role in the growth of its economy while delivering increased profitability for our shareholders”
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in Kenya and Nigeria. If it goes through, it will be the second acquisition in Kenya for Access Bank, which acquired Transnational Bank, now called Access Bank Kenya, in 2020.