Access Bank, yesterday, announced that it had received the approvals of the South African and Nigerian regulatory authorities for its proposed acquisition of the South African-based Grobank Limited.
According to a statement from the group obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the approvals constitute a significant milestone in the transaction, which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021 subject to completion of other conditions precedent. Speaking on the development,
Mr. Herbert Wigwe, the GMD/CEO of Access Bank, said: “Today’s announcement represents significant progress in delivering on our strategic intent of becoming Africa’s Gateway to the World in pursuit of our vision to be the world’s most respected African bank.
“Our presence in South Africa will no doubt accelerate the attainment of our goal of delivering our more than banking promise to 100 million unique customers across the continent.
It will also build on our existing foundation and deliver enhanced value to our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders.”
Access Bank recently identified eight African countries for potential expansion as it seeks to benefit from a continentwide free trade pact. Access Bank plans “to expand to high-potential markets, leveraging the benefits of the African Continental Free Trade Area,”
Wigwe said on an investor call recently. The company already operates in 12 countries following a series of acquisitions spanning Kenya to its home market. The markets of interest are Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Ivory Coast, Senegal, Angola, Namibia and Ethiopia, according to an online presentation emailed by the Lagos-based lender.
According to Bloomberg, it will also use its London-based unit as an “anchor for growth” to expand representative offices in countries such as India, Lebanon and China, the CEO said.
The African trade pact aims to bolster intra-regional commerce by lowering or eliminating cross-border tariffs, facilitating the movement of capital and people, promoting investment and paving the way for the establishment of a continental- wide customs union.
Access Bank plans to eventually expand into 22 African countries to cushion challenges in some markets, diversify earnings and take advantage of growth opportunities in the region.