Access Bank is reportedly set to acquire Kenyan Sidian Bank by buying out the entire stake of Centum Investment in the bank for $36.7 million (Ksh 4.3 billion). If the deal goes through, this will be the Nigerian bank’s second acquisition in the Kenyan market.

According to The Standard, the deal will see Access Bank take over the 83.4% shares currently belonging to Centum and its subsidiary Bakki Holdco Ltd. 

Access Bank CEO Roosevelt Ogbonna said this deal will help Access to continue strengthening its presence in Kenya, a market the bank regards as key to its diversification strategy. 

“Through this transaction and the subsequent merger with Access Bank Kenya, we will be well placed to promote regional trade finance and other cross-border banking services,” he said. 

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This acquisition will count as a major milestone since Ogbonna assumed the CEO role last month, succeeding Hebert Wigwe. 

In February 2020, Access Bank acquired 99.98% of Kenyan Transnational Bank for $12.8 million (Ksh1.56 billion) and has since rebranded it into Access Bank Kenya. which was reported to have already signed a binding agreement with Centum.

The deal is said to still be subject to regulatory approvals in Nigeria and Kenya and will add to the acquisition deals in Kenya’s banking sector.

Sidian has been keen on small and medium enterprises and trade finance and grew its balance sheet from $162.2 million (Ksh 19 billion) in 2012 to $256.2 million (Ksh30 billion) at the end of March 2022. Access Bank plans to consolidate Sidian with Access Bank Kenya to create a stronger banking institution—a process they believe will push Access Bank Kenya into becoming a Tier 2 bank in Kenya.

For Centum CEO, James Mworia, the deal will bring in required monetary value that’d be used to invest in other strategic sectors in East Africa.

“This transaction stands as one of the largest private equity transactions in East Africa and reflects a strong commitment by Access Bank to the future of the Kenyan economy,” said Mworia. “It advances Centum’s vision to be Africa’s foremost investment channel, and bolsters our track record of attracting foreign investors into Kenya and the region to invest in extraordinary enterprises.”

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