Access Bank positions itself for Botswana banking license through BancABC acquisition

The transaction is expected to conclude in the first half of 2021, subject to the fulfillment of various customary conditions precedent including certain regulatory requirements by the Bank of Botswana and consents from other relevant authorities and certain counterparties.

Access Bank positions itself for Botswana banking license through BancABC acquisition
Access Bank shareholders. Source; Access Bank

Atlas Mara Limited, ABC Holdings Limited and Access Bank Plc announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement regarding a proposed acquisition of 78.15 percent of the issued share capital of African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited (BancABC Botswana) by Access Bank. The transaction is expected to conclude in the first half of 2021, subject to the fulfillment of various customary conditions precedent including certain regulatory requirements by the Bank of Botswana and consents from other relevant authorities and certain counterparties.

BancABC Botswana Managing Director Kgotso Bannalotlhe says this transaction represents an opportunity for BancABC Botswana to be part of one of the largest banking groups in Africa and benefit from Access Bank’s strong corporate banking franchise, digital banking capabilities, and innovative product offering, as well as trade finance and international banking that leverage Access Bank’s footprint across Southern Africa and the SSA region more broadly. “We are delighted to have Access Bank on board as a shareholder and strategic partner as we continue to execute on our medium-term growth objectives,” Bannalotlhe says assuring clients that the safety of their accounts, the stability of banking operations, and high-quality customer service will remain top priorities during the transition.We are grateful for the trust of our customers, who can look forward to new products and services as the bank pursues sustainable growth. Our mission, to serve and support our customers during this challenging time and continue to contribute much more meaningfully to economic development of the country, will benefit greatly from this transaction.”

The acquisition comes with a complementary transaction that combines BancABC Botswana’s strong retail banking operation with Access Bank’s wholesale banking capabilities, providing significant scope for revenue diversification and growth in the corporate and SME banking segment. BancABC Botswana’s customers are expected to benefit from best-in-class digital platforms and product suites, leveraging Access Bank’s group IT infrastructure.

For his part, Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO Access Bank said the establishment of Access Bank in the Republic of Botswana, one of Africa’s most stable and highest income countries, through the acquisition of BancABC Botswana, will position Access Bank to deliver a more complete set of banking solutions to its clients active in and across the SADC and COMESA regions. This transaction complements our recent strategic growth transactions in South Africa, Zambia and Mozambique. We are building a bank of the future that Africans across Africa and the world will be proud of and look forward to welcoming the employees, customers and other stakeholders of BancABC Botswana to Access Bank.”

Michael Wilkerson, Executive Chairman of Atlas Mara, said, “BancABC Botswana has achieved a great deal since Atlas Mara’s initial investment, including in digital adoption and in growing a high-quality retail operation. Management have shown strong resilience and further innovation during the pandemic-related economic slowdown of 2020, and we thank the team for their hard work. By combining with Access Bank’s infrastructure, including its digital offerings and its corporate and SME capabilities, the bank will be well positioned to continue the positive trajectory and succeed in the macroeconomic recovery to come.”