Home » Burkinabe multimillionaire Simon Tiemtore leads acquisition of Orabank

Burkinabe multimillionaire Simon Tiemtore leads acquisition of Orabank

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Simon Tiemtoré

Vista Group, a financial services company controlled by Lilium Capital, founded by Burkinabe millionaire Simon Tiemtore, is set to acquire a 61.4-percent stake in Oragroup S.A, the holding company of Orabank.

Vista is acquiring Orabank from a consortium of investors, including U.S. private equity firm Emerging Capital Partners, BIO, DEG, Proparco, and Envol Afrique.

Headquartered in Lome, Orabank operates across 12 West and Central African nations, including Togo, Cote D’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Burkina-Faso, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Chad, Gabon, and Mauritania. By the end of 2022, Orabank’s total assets amounted to $7.7 billion.

Upon completion, these entities (Vista and Oragroup) will establish a tier-one banking group spanning 16 countries, boasting more than 270 branches, and representing combined assets exceeding $10 billion.

This significant acquisition by Tiemtore’s Vista Group substantially expands its market presence, enveloping diverse regions (100 percent of WAEMU, 50 percent of WAMZ, 35 percent of CEMAC) within Africa. This aligns with the group’s strategic goal of evolving into a prominent pan-African banking institution, active in at least 25 countries by 2025-26, thereby fostering financial inclusion, trade, and intra-African commerce.

Moody’s Investors Service underscores Orabank’s underlying profitability, rooted in its expanding franchise, substantial exposure to rapidly growing Francophone West Africa, robust credit expansion, solid deposit-driven funding, and robust liquidity.

At 49, Tiemtore maintains majority ownership of Vista Group. His prior experience encompasses a role at the African Export-Import Bank in Cairo, followed by the establishment of Lilium Capital, a private equity firm.

Under Lilium’s leadership, he acquired a Gambian bank, later rebranded as Vista Bank Group. Lilium’s portfolio also encompasses Ayka Textiles, a Burkina Faso bank, and a pharmaceutical firm in Ouagadougou.

Between 2018 and 2020, Tiemtore made unsuccessful attempts to acquire the Togolese Bank for Commerce and Industry (ultimately purchased by IB Holding, owned by Mahamadou Bonkoungou) and the Commercial Bank of Burkina.

In 2020, he successfully acquired BNP Paribas subsidiaries in Burkina Faso and Guinea, while missing out on the Malian subsidiary, secured by Atlantic Bank, under the ownership of Bernard Koné Dossongui.

Vista Group’s aspiration is to emerge as a preeminent pan-African entity, reaching diverse customers through precisely tailored products. This strategic approach aims to construct an integrated, efficient banking and insurance conglomerate, delivering innovative customer-centric offerings.

With a core mission of promoting economic and financial inclusion across Africa, Vista Group, through its subsidiaries and branches, is under the ownership of Tiemtore’s Lilium Capital. It prides itself on offering an extensive array of innovative, accessible banking services to all, with a particular focus on women and SMEs, to drive financial inclusion, economic progress, and prosperity across its operational jurisdictions.

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