Kenya’s Equity Bank to Acquire Controlling Stake in Congo’s Second Largest Bank

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Kenya’s Equity Bank is in the process of acquiring the Commercial Bank of Congo – the second-largest lender in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The acquisition is likely informed by the rapid growth of its Equity Bank Congo subsidiary. According to the bank, Equity Bank Congo is the fastest growing subsidiary of Equity Group Holdings (EGH) contributing about 22 percent of the Group’s total assets.

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The new acquisition, expected to be completed in 3 months time, will merge the new business with its existing subsidiary in DRC.

Equity is already one of the leading banks in the East African region. With the recent acquisitions and move into Zambia and Mozambique, the lender has been on an acquisitions and expansion race with Kenya’s largest bank, Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB).

In a statement, Equity Bank said:

“The proposed transaction is an opportunity for EGH to deliver the vision of building sub-Saharan Africa’s premier financial institution through delivering innovative products and services to customers, including, in particular, the effective use of technology.”

The Commercial Bank of Congo, founded in 1909, will now have Equity Bank Holdings as Majority Shareholder . Currently, the Congolese Government owns a 25% stake.

Equity is also looking to enter new markets with such acquisitions. The bank is also looking to enter Ethiopia.

In as statement, Equity Holding Holdings Chairman, James Mwangi said:

“We’re going to be the largest bank in the Eastern and Central African region, with the possibility of expanding our balance sheet to beyond Kshs. 1 trillion ($10B) by the end of this year.”

With over 14 million customers and about 289 branches in the countries it operates, Equity Bank plans to be in 15 African countries by 2024.

Africa’s financial institutions have seen steady growth in the past few years. South Africa’s Standard Bank is the leading banking group on the African continent with operations in 20 sub-Saharan countries.

 

 

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