In the last four years, Access Bank seems insatiable with its desire to make inroads into other African markets by acquiring other banks and financial institutions in African countries.
Recently, Access Holdings, the bank’s parent company, pumped $300 million into the bank to ramp up its acquisition spree in Africa and expand its tentacles across the continent.
In the last four years, the bank has acquired more than three banks in three African countries, which analysts see as an ambitious move to dominate the African banking space.
In 2021, Access Bank announced its plans to consolidate its operation in Mozambique into a single banking unit by acquiring another bank in the Southern African country.
The bank’s subsidiary sealed a deal to acquire African Banking Corporation, supported by Atlas Mara Limited, a London-listed financial services group.
However, the bank did not disclose the amount spent acquiring the Mozambican bank.
Analysts say the bank wants its business outside Nigeria to provide 30% of the group’s revenue and profit.
The same year, Access Bank announced it acquired a controlling share in another Southern African bank, Grobank. The bank officially renamed itself Access Bank, Premium Times reports said.
In June 2021, Reuters reported that Access acquired a majority stake in the African Banking Corporation of Botswana for cash, one month after acquiring Grobank.
The report added that Access Bank is expanding across Africa to counter stagflation and dollar shortages in Nigeria that have frustrated businesses, reducing the lending market.
In January this year, Bloomberg also reported that Access Bank might be considering the purchase of Atlas Mara, a deal that the bank sealed a few weeks ago with the acquisition of the Zambian Bank.
A report quotes Access Bank saying:
“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,” CEO Wigwe said in the statement.
Access Bank also acquired Kenya’s Sidian Bank for $36.7 million in June last year, and the deal will see Access Bank take over about 83.4% of shares in the Kenyan Bank.
Access Bank’s CEO Roosevelt Ogbonna said the deal would help Access Bank to continue to strengthen its presence in Kenya.
The bank also acquired a 99.98% stake in Kenyan Transnational Bank for $12.8 million and has since rebranded it into Access Bank.
Fidelity Bank acquires Union Bank UK
In June 2022, Fidelity Bank said it entered a deal to acquire a 100% equity stake in Union Bank UK.
The bank disclosed this in a corporate filing on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX) floor.
The bank said it secured CBN’s “No Objection” letter to proceed with the acquisition.
Union Bank UK began operation in 1983 to provide services such as personal banking, trade finance, treasury management, and structured trade and commodity financing.
The development followed the acquisition of the Nigerian arm of the bank by Titan Trust Bank.
Access Bank gets N138 billion from the parent company as CBN gives approval
Recall that Access Bank’s parent company, Access Holdings, has injected $300 million, about N138 billion in investment capital.
According to reports, Access Holdings stated that the returns would boost the capital needed to expand in Africa.
The parent company of the tier-1 bank noted that over the years, the bank had made substantial progress towards a strong market presence in critical markets and payment pathways across Africa.