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HomeNewsEight months after, Access Bank completes acquisition of Zambian bank, Atlas Mara

Eight months after, Access Bank completes acquisition of Zambian bank, Atlas Mara

Eight months after, Access Bank completes acquisition of Zambian bank, Atlas Mara

More than eight months after a deal was originally announced, Access Bank Limited has finally completed the acquisition of African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited, trading as Atlas Mara Zambia.

The bank’s parent company, Access Holdings, made this known in a notice on Monday.

The lender consummated the transaction through its Zambian banking operation, making the new acquisition a wholly owned subsidiary of Access Bank Zambia.

It would be recalled that Nigeria’s biggest lender by assets announced last April that it had received the final regulatory approval for the deal from the Central Bank of Zambia, giving it the latitude to expand its footprint in the southern African nation.

It had projected that the purchase would be concluded by last September, but that didn’t happen.

A business combination of Access Bank Zambia and African Banking Corporation is to follow. In January 2021, the bank wrapped up its purchase of Cavmont Bank Limited of Zambia, later merging it with Access Bank Zambia.

The lender expects the merger to produce one of the top five banks in Zambia, hoping to leverage Atlas Mara’s big traction in the retail and public sectors to create a market leading universal banking platform in the country.

It has stated its ambition to transform its Zambian unit to rank among the three biggest banks by assets in that market come 2027.

“This marks a significant milestone for Access Bank as we work towards achieving our vision of being the World’s Most Respected African Bank,” Access Holdings CEO Herbert Wigwe said in a regulatory filing.

“We are poised for success by harmonising the robust brands, rich heritage, shared values, and best practices of both companies to create opportunities for all our stakeholders in Zambia and the SADC region,” Mr Wigwe added.

It would also be recalled that Access Bank has been on an acquiring spree lately, last July, the financial services group bought the majority equity stake in Angola’s Finibanco S.A and there are at least six other deals in the pipeline across different markets on the continent.

This follows the acquisition of Standard Chartered Bank’s banking businesses in Angola, Cameroon, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Tanzania, and of the majority stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited is already in the bag, having signed deals to complete the transactions.