Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) stakeholders have rubber-stamped the proposed acquisition of majority stake of 85 percent in one of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC) biggest lenders, Trust Merchant Bank (TMB).
TMB acquisition will see KCB Group total asset jump to Ksh.1.5 trillion from Ksh.1.2 trillion reported during the 2022 half year financial results.
According to KCB Group Chairman Wambari Kairu the decision is part of the Group to boost growth and maintain sustainable long-term regional success while investing in and maximizing the returns from its existing businesses.
“The shareholders’ nod is a major milestone for us to accelerate the acquisition process which will allow us to scale up our balance sheet, revenue streams and contribute positively to KCB’s growth and diversification objectives. In turn, KCB will be able to rapidly establish its presence within DRC by leveraging TMB’s 18-year operational history and vast branch network,” said Kairu.
If approved by the Kenyan and DRC regulators, existing shareholders in TMB will continue to hold the remaining 15pc share balance for a period of not less than 2 years after which KCB will have the right to acquire their shares
TMB has 109 branches and numerous agency banking outlets spread across DRC including its insurance subsidiary, Affrissur SA.
KCB entry into DRC brings competition to the doorstep of its rival, Equity Group, which in 2020 purchased a 66.5 percent stake in Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC) valued at Ksh.10.3 billion, making it the second-largest lender in the country.
The lender is looking beyond their borders for acquisitions, seeking to tap opportunities in East Africa which are driven by rapid economic growth and trade integration.
The entrance into the Central African country with a population of over 84 million marks its seventh market outside Kenya for KCB.
DRC, the third most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa, boasts of its enormous mineral wealth, including key components for the modern battery industry.
The world’s biggest producer of cobalt and Africa’s biggest copper exporter recorded an economic growth to 6.2 percent in 2021, up from 1.7 per cent in 2020, according the International Monetary Fund (IMF).