Access Bank invests $60m to acquire South Africa’s bank

Access Bank, Nigeria’s biggest lender has invested around $60 million to acquire a stake in South Africa’s Grobank, its chief executive said on Tuesday, to become the first Nigerian lender to venture into South Africa.

Access Bank thus becomes the first Nigeria bank to venture into South Africa.

Access invested both equity and debt in the South African bank, part of a regional expansion to tap into correspondent and trade banking deals on the continent, Herbert Wigwe told CNBC Africa Television.

Wigwe said Access will expand trade finance capability within Grobank which is currently focusing on the agricultural sector in South Africa.

The bank on Friday said it had received regulatory approvals for the acquisition which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2021.

In August, Access Bank agreed to buy loss-making Cavmont Bank from the Zambian arm of Namibian financial services group Capricorn, for a nominal fee of 1 kwacha ($0.0014).

Access is restructuring itself into a holding company and has received approval from Nigeria’s central bank.

Last week, Access Bank Plc has announced that it received approval from South African and Nigerian regulatory authorities to acquire South African-based Grobank Limited. The bank’s expectation of 30 per cent profit outside its Nigerian base, through a series of acquisitions in East and West Africa, is coming to fruition.

According to the announcement, the approvals constitute a significant milestone in achieving completion of the transaction by the second quarter of 2021. This milestone further solidifies Access Bank Plc’s outside revenue plan especially after the announcement that its Zambian subsidiary (Access Bank Zambia) has finalized the acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited.

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