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Access Bank to Acquire Banking Corporation in Zambia in Historic Merger Deal

Access Bank PLC has finalised plans to acquire African Banking Corporation Zambia Ltd. If the proposed deal goes through, the biggest bank in Nigeria by asset will merge African Banking Corp with its new subsidiary Access Bank Zambia Ltd.

African Banking Corp is owned by Atlas Mara Limited, a London-based financial conglomerate.

According to a notice filed with the Nigerian Exchange by Access Bank, the proposed acquisition will strenghten Access Bank’s capital base in Zambia to around $1 billion. It will also facilitate branch extensions to 70 across the Central Africa country and a customer base of more than 300,000. It is expected that the acquisition will be completed in 2022 after regulatory approvals in Nigeria and Zambia.

“This transaction represents another milestone that brings us closer to the achievement of our broader strategic objectives,” Access Bank CEO Herbert Wigwe said. “The merger of Atlas Mara Zambia with Access Bank Zambia is expected to augment our presence in Zambia and the broader COMESA region, Africa’s largest free trade area.Today’s announcement is a testament to the strong confidence of the Zambian market in the Bank’s country and regional strategy as well as our strong confidence in the long-term prospects for the Zambian economy.”

Just a few weeks ago, Access Bank acquired majority shares in African Banking Corp in Botswana. In May, the bank also acquired African Banking Corporation in Mozambique. The bank also got major acquisitions in South Africa, and the latest one being in Zambia. Access Bank also acquired Cavmont Bank of Zambia in January.

With the expansions across Africa, Access Bank has the objective of becoming the financial gateway to the world. The Wigwe-led financial institution aims to generate 30% of its annual profit from outside of its dominant Nigerian market. Atlas Mara has controlling stake in Nigeria’s Union Bank, and it might consider selling off the share to either Access Bank or Zenith Bank.