KCB Group, a Kenya-based financial services holding firm led by renowned businessman and leading executive Joshua Oigara, has announced plans to extend its activities in Central Africa by acquiring a commercial bank in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
The proposed deal, which will be completed in Q2 2022, comes after Joshua Oigara-led financial services group expressed interest in negotiating another acquisition deal in Tanzania following its withdrawal from a bid with UK-based Atlas Mara to purchase BancABC Tanzania.
KCB Group Plc is a non-operating holding company that oversees the activities of KCB Bank Kenya, the National Bank of Kenya, and regional subsidiaries in Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia.
The proposed acquisition deal in the DRC is consistent with the bank’s strategic plans to expand its operational footprint in Africa and deepen its dominance in the financial services industry in Central and East Africa, as it seeks to build on the growth achieved through previous acquisitions.
While the bank’s management has yet to reveal the profile of the DRC lender, Oigara, its CEO, has assured that negotiations are well underway, with a deal likely to be finalized by the end of the next quarter, or June 2022.
Experts say KCB’s intention to grow its operations through acquisitions are related to the banking group’s remarkable financial performance at the end of 2021, when its balance sheet rose by 15.4 percent to KSh1.14 trillion ($9.96 billion).
The Kenya-based lender reported a 74-percent increase in profit from Ksh19.6 billion ($171.3 million) in 2020 to Ksh34.2 billion ($298.9 million) at the end of 2021 due to impressive cost-cutting and treasury management strategies, as well as an increase in interest income driven by an increase in earning assets, non-funded income, and lower cost of funding.
The double-digit percentage surge in the lender’s earnings and assets was driven by organic growth across its businesses and the acquisition of Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc from Atlas Mara Mauritius Limited and Arise B.V in 2021.
The planned purchase in the DRC will see the Kenya-based lender join competitor Equity Group, which already has a presence in the mineral-rich DRC through Equity Bank Congo and Banque Commerciale Du Congo.
As of press time on March 21, shares in KCB Group were trading at Ksh44.35 ($0.3876) per share, giving the bank a market capitalization of Ksh143 billion ($1.25 billion).