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CBN, Others Give Access Bank Nod to Acquire New Bank

Access Bank Plc, yesterday said that has received approvals from regulators in South Africa and Nigeria, including the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which supervises the sector in the country, to acquire a new bank.

Access Bank intends to control a South African-based financial institution, Grobank Limited, which “first entered the market in 1947 as the South African Bank of Athens, delivering world-class business banking services through a team of highly experienced, dedicated relationship managers.”

In a notice filed to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) yesterday, Access Bank said the acquisition of Grobank, which gained repute for leading business banking service, was in line with its goal of becoming the main bank for Africa.

“Today’s announcement represents significant progress in delivering on our strategic intent of becoming Africa’s gateway to the world in pursuit of our vision to be the world’s most respected African bank.

“Our presence in South Africa will no doubt accelerate the attainment of our goal of delivering our More than Banking promise to 100 million unique customers across the continent.

“It will also build on our existing foundation and deliver enhanced value to our shareholders, employees and other stakeholders,” Mr Herbert Wigwe, GMD/CEO of Access Bank, said of the development.

Access Bank has said the approvals of the South African and Nigerian regulatory authorities “constitute a significant milestone in the transaction which is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2021 subject to the completion of other conditions precedent.”

Earlier acquisitions

Recall that in 2019, Access Bank completed the merger with the defunct Diamond Bank Plc, in a deal many observers did not initially believe could be possible.

After the transaction, precisely a year later, Access Bank went ahead to strike a deal with a Kenyan bank known as Transnational Bank Plc and Mr Wigwe said the acquisition of TNB by Access Bank “will allow it to build on its expertise in agricultural financing and deploy its resources to optimize other business segments.”

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