Kenya’s Equity to buy Congo’s second-largest bank

Equity Group Holdings plans to acquire a controlling stake in Banque Commerciale du Congo
Kenya’s Equity to buy Congo’s second-largest bank

Kenya’s Equity Bank has announced plans to acquire the second-largest lender in the Democratic Republic of Congo as part of the East African group’s strategy to expand across Africa.

The bank’s parent company, Equity Group Holdings, has entered into a non-binding agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Banque Commerciale du Congo.

“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 company said.

Founded as a provider of mortgage financing in the 1980s, Equity bank has expanded rapidly in the last 15 years by targeting previously unbanked, low-income depositors and is now Kenya’s biggest lender by market value and Africa’s largest bank by customer numbers.

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Equity acquired Congo’s seventh-biggest bank, ProCredit Bank Congo, in 2015 and in April agreed to buy Atlas Mara’s banking operations in Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania, in a deal worth about $106m. Equity now has operations in eight African countries. It did not disclose how much it will pay for the stake in BCDC, which was founded in 1909.

BCDC had total assets of $706m at the end of 2017. The Congolese government owns a 25 per cent stake in the lender.


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