ACCESS Bank Zambia Limited has received approval for merging with African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (ABC) following an endorsement of the move by the Central Bank of Zambia.
Access Corporation, the parent company of the bank, in a regulatory filing to investing community through the Nigerian Exchange Limited and signed by the company secretary, Access Holdings, Sunday Ekwochi, made the announcement on Friday.
According to the release, the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission had earlier granted their ‘no objection’ to the transaction in 2022.
“Access Zambia will now move towards integrating and merging Atlas Mara Zambia into its operations, which is expected to create one of the top five banks in Zambia,” it said.
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Speaking on the transaction, Group chief executive of Access Holdings, Dr. Herbert Wigwe said: “the transaction builds on our earlier acquisition and merger of Cavmont Bank Plc into Access Bank Zambia and underscores our resolve to strengthen our presence in Zambia, a key African market that fits into our strategic focus on geographic earnings growth and diversification.”
Wigwe added that the combination of the two banks will create significant synergies between Access Zambia’s world class wholesale and transaction banking capabilities and Atlas Mara, Zambia’s market leading retail and public sector capabilities to form a market leading universal banking platform that will greatly impact the Zambia market.
The Holding Company said, the transaction is expected to be completed in third quarter (Q3), 2023.
The business combination was first announced in October 2021 when Access Bank Plc entered a binding pact with Atlas Mara Zambia, owners of ABC Zambia, later culminating in the acquisition of the latter.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria and Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission had earlier granted their “non-objection” to the transaction in 2022,” Access Corporation.
Access Bank Zambia is hoping to become one of the top lenders in the Southern African country following the merger. It is expected to deliver 70 branches and agencies and total assets in the neighbourhood of $1 billion as well as over 300,000 customers in Zambia.
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