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Access Bank Plc has entered into an agreement to acquire the entire 83.4 percent equity stake held by Centum Investment Plc, a Kenyan-based investment company, in Sidian Bank Ltd, for the sum of about N15 billion ($37 million).

Access which announced the acquisition in a statement on Wednesday, said the purchase consideration includes the price to “book multiple of 1.1x” based on the audited March 31, 2022 shareholders’ equity of Sidian.

“Sidian will be merged with Access Bank’s subsidiary in Kenya, Access Bank Kenya, to create a stronger banking institution better positioned to serve the Kenyan market,” the statement reads.

Commenting on the transaction, Herbert Wigwe, the group chief executive, Access Corporation said: “This 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 commenting, Roosevelt Ogbonna, chief executive officer, Access Bank, said the transaction builds on their earlier acquisition of the former Transnational 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.”

Ogbonna said the acquisition and intended subsequent merger would create a strong and competitive balance sheet for Access Bank in Kenya.

He added that the acquisition also positioned the bank to be well-placed to promote regional trade finance and other cross-border banking services in the East African Community (EAC) and broader Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) region.

The bank said the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals in Kenya and Nigeria.

The recent buy is the bank’s sixth acquisition in five years.

In 2018, the lender acquired Diamond Bank through a merger and acquisition deal, completed in 2019.

In the fourth quarter of the same year, it acquired Transnational Bank (Kenya) Plc.

In August 2020, the bank also announced the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited through a merger deal and finalised the process in January 2021.

It also acquired Grobank in South Africa as well as Marina International Bank Limited, Nigeria, Capital Bank International Plc, Nigeria, and African Banking Corporation in Mozambique.

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