Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) Group plans to acquire a lender in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as its regional expansion plans move to full throttle.
The Kenyan lender will join rival Equity Group which already has a presence in the vast mineral-rich DRC through this lender’s acquisition of Banque Centrale du Congo.
KCB has yet to reveal the name of the DRC lender but its Chief Executive Officer, Joshua Oigara told the local media that negotiations are now at advanced stages with a deal expected to be struck before the end of the next quarter or June 2022.
The listed lender is said to be pursuing the DRC deal in its strategic regional expansion plan, to be executed in the second half of 2022.
KCB already has a presence in South Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi and a representative office in Ethiopia, with its subsidiary in Rwanda making the largest contribution in 2021 to its earnings of $ 9.56 Million.
The Group’s Net Earnings for 2021 rose 74% to KSh 34.2 billion from KSh 19.6 billion the previous year.
“KCB will continue exploring and pursuing attractive regional expansion opportunities to enhance our regional participation, accelerate growth, and maintain sustainable long-term performance,” said KCB Group Chairman Andrew Wambari Kairu during a recent investor briefing to present 2021 end year financial results.
KCB is also said to be keen to negotiate another acquisition deal in Tanzania even after it back peddled on a transation with UK-based Atlas Mara to buy BancABC Tanzania in November 2021.
The Kenyan lender had a final conversation with BanABC in December 2021 and has since shifted its focus to other countries. But the lender has hinted at coming back to Tanzania in the second half of this year.
The Atlas Mara deal with the Kenyan bank for a stake in BancABC is reported to have hit a regulatory minefield, forcing the Kenyan lender to drop its bid for the Tanzanian Bank.
The Kenyan Bank successfully acquired a 62.06 percent stake in Rwanda’s Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) in August 2021 from Atlas Mara, a deal that will make KCB the second-biggest lender in Rwanda.
KCB now owns 76% of BPR, with plans to eventually get to 100%.
KCB said its expansion plans in Ethiopia could take a bit longer due to the ongoing political instability and civil unrest in that country.