Home » South African exec Kennedy Bungane-led African Bank expands with $170-million Sasfin unit acquisition

South African exec Kennedy Bungane-led African Bank expands with $170-million Sasfin unit acquisition

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Kennedy Bungane

African Bank Limited, a retail bank in South Africa led by CEO Kennedy Bungane, has announced the successful acquisition of Sasfin Bank’s commercial equipment finance (CEF) and commercial property finance (CPF) divisions in a deal valued at R3.2 billion ($170 million). 

Kennedy Bungane expressed his satisfaction with the deal, saying, “After months of engagement, we are pleased to have signed the deal, which enables us to further sustainably scale, diversify revenue, and expand our client base while de-risking our balance sheet…”

“This further delivers on our ‘Excelerate25’ strategy to expand our core and establish our footprint in the business banking market, leveraging African Bank’s strong balance sheet and capital levels,” Bungane added.

The acquisition of Sasfin Bank’s CEF and CPF divisions comes at a pivotal moment as Sasfin Holdings Limited, the parent company of Sasfin Bank, recently began implementing a strategy to refocus and streamline its operations. The acquisition signifies a major step in African Bank’s strategic growth and diversification plan. 

Michael Sassoon, CEO of Sasfin Holdings, explained their rationale, stating, “Over the past year, Sasfin has undertaken a detailed strategic review of its business. Our strategy is to concentrate on our core businesses, where we have strong capabilities and competitive advantages.”

This has resulted in us entering into this mutually beneficial transaction. While it is difficult to part with the people and businesses that we have grown significantly over an extended period of time, we are confident that this deal will present new opportunities for our clients and teams,” Sassoon added.

This acquisition follows African Bank’s earlier acquisition of Grindrod Bank and Grindrod Financial Holdings in a deal worth R1.5 billion ($97 million) in 2022. The bank’s recent string of acquisitions is in response to the escalating competition in South Africa’s business banking sector.

African Bank has also fortified its position in the retail banking space through the acquisition of Ubank in November, further expanding its presence in the South African financial market. 

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