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Herbert Wigwe’s Access Bank completes acquisition of BancABC Botswana

BancABC Botswana is a well-capitalized franchise with impressive growth prospects in Southern Africa.

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Nigerian banker Herbert Wigwe.

Nigeria’s largest bank by assets value Access Bank Plc has completed the acquisition of a 78.15-percent stake in African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited (BancABC Botswana).

A statement issued by the Herbert Wigwe-led group from its Victoria Island office in Lagos, Nigeria, announced the conclusion of the deal after reaching an agreement with Atlas Mara, a financial services group formed to undertake the acquisition of target banks in Africa.

BancABC Botswana is a well-capitalized franchise with impressive growth prospects in Southern Africa. The bank competes in the local market as the fifth-largest bank in Botswana, owing to its achievements over time in the retail banking space.

Prior to acquiring the stake in the Botswana-based bank, Access Bank in April signed a definitive agreement with Atlas Mara to acquire the majority issued share capital of BancABC Botswana in the second half of 2021.

The conclusion of the deal will set the Nigerian lender on course to expand its African presence to 12 countries. This is expected to strengthen earnings power through revenue diversification and ensure growth in its core corporate and SME banking operations.

Wigwe, the general managing director and CEO of Access Bank, said the successful conclusion of the transaction will provide significant synergies by combining BancABC Botswana’s strong retail banking operation with Access Bank’s wholesale banking capabilities.

“The combination is another step towards our broader vision of becoming the world’s most respected African bank,” Wigwe said.

With the recent acquisitions and strategic investments that the group has made so far to expand operating capabilities in key trade corridors connecting Africa to the rest of the world, investors have raised concerns over the recent surge in the company’s liabilities and debt profile.

According to figures contained in Access Bank’s audited half-year statement, its liabilities so far in 2021 have increased from N7.93 trillion ($19.30 billion) in January to N9.28 trillion ($22.59 billion) as of June 30.

Meanwhile, its interest-bearing borrowings have increased from N791.46 billion ($1.93 billion) to N842.54 billion ($2.05 billion). Recently, it added to its interest-bearing borrowings following the successful pricing of a $500-million tier-1 Eurobond*.

In a move to create increased value for shareholders and cut back on operating expenses and other costs arising from its recent acquisitions, Access Bank disclosed that the group received an approval-in-principle from the Central Bank of Nigeria to restructure its business into a holding company structure.

The structure will enable the bank to accelerate its objectives around business diversification, improved operational efficiencies to reduce costs and improve the quality of earnings, talent retention and robust governance.

As of press time, Oct. 12, shares in the bank were trading at a price of N9.70 ($0.02361), 2.65-percent higher than its opening price of N9.45 ($0.02301) per share this morning.

*Eurobond is a fixed-income debt instrument (security) issued by an entity (government or corporate) and denominated in a different currency than the local one of the country where the bond has been issued.

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Nigeria’s oldest bank confirms billionaire Femi Otedola’s acquisition of $54.2-million stake

Otedola is known for building corporate juggernauts in the energy, shipping, real estate and finance sectors.

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Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola. ©Billionaires.Africa

After a frenzied 24 hours of back and forth between the media and one of Nigeria’s largest banking groups, First Bank of Nigeria Holdings (FBNH), its management has confirmed the acquisition of a substantial stake in the lender by Nigerian billionaire Femi Otedola.

In a notification sent to the Nigerian Exchange, the financial services group disclosed that Otedola has completed the acquisition of a 5.07-percent stake, or 1,818,551,625 units of shares, from the company’s issued share capital, which amounts to a total of 35,895,292,791 shares.

Information contained in the notification revealed that the billionaire made the acquisition through one of his investment vehicles, Calvados Global Services Limited, which was at the forefront of his sale of a 75-percent stake in Forte Oil Plc to Prudent Energy in 2019.

The acquisition of the shares worth N22.27 billion ($54.2 million) makes him one of the largest shareholders in the Nigeria-based lender, ahead of Obafemi Otudeko, the former chairman of FBNH, and Remi Babalola, who is the current chairman of the holding.

FBNH has a free float unit of 35,773,669,647 ordinary shares, which translates to 99.67 percent of the company’s 35,895,292,791 issued shares.

Otedola’s acquisition of the stake has sent the holding’s share price up by more than 60 percent in the past 28 days. Its market capitalization skyrocketed from a valuation of N267.4 billion ($650.6 million) on Sept. 24 to N440 billion ($1.07 billion) as of the time of writing.

Recall that Billionaires.Africa previously reported that the billionaire acquired a significant stake in the leading Nigerian banking group on Oct. 22.

In reaction, in an earlier statement, FBNH disclosed that it had not received any notification from Otedola in line with the acquisition as mentioned in the news report.

The lender noted that it will notify the appropriate agencies and authorities whenever it receives any notice of significant shareholding from shareholders and the company’s registrars.

Otedola’s acquisition opens up fresh debate surrounding who holds the largest stake in the group, as experts believe that aside from Tunde Hassan-Odukale, who holds a 5.36-percent stake in the lender, Nigerian billionaire Mike Adenuga could be one of its largest shareholders.

Following his purchase of the stake, experts expect Otedola to bring fresh ideas that will drive forward the bank’s growth, as they believe the billionaire will take on a management role.

Otedola is known for his ability to innovate in disparate sectors after building and leading corporate juggernauts in the energy, shipping, real estate and finance industries.

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Led by Tunisian Ben Yedder family, Ennakl Automobiles posts $153 million in revenue in 9M 2021

Ennakl is a Tunisian auto retailer selling cars under the Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Porsche brands.

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Ennakl Automobiles Chairman Abdellatif Hmam.

Tunisia-based automobile company Ennakl Automobiles has posted TND429.91 million ($152.9 million) in revenue in the first nine months of 2021, as the automobile company continues to benefit from strong growth in demand.

Ennakl Automobiles is a Tunisia-based automobile retailer engaged in the retail sale of cars under the Volkswagen, Audi, Seat and Porsche brands. The company is majority-owned by the affluent Ben Yedder family and operates under the management of Chairman Abdellatif Hmam.

In addition to its retail activities, the company engages in the importation and distribution of auto parts through its subsidiary, Car Gros, which enables it to offer after-sale services to customers.

Compared with its revenue of TND288 million ($102.4 million) in the first nine-month period of 2020, the company’s consolidated revenue in 2021 rose by 49.3 percent to TND429.9 million ($152.9 million).

The growth in revenue indicates a significant improvement in sales despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operating environment, as the company was able to sell 6,393 vehicles in the first nine months of 2021, up 58.3 percent from the 4,039 units sold last year.

The management noted that the company’s excellent financial performance at the end of Q3 2021 consolidated its leading position among importers in the automotive sector, resulting in Ennaki seizing a 14.24-percent market share during the period under review.

In line with its commitment to create value for stakeholders and improve its market dominance in the automobile industry, Ennakl Automobiles signed a distribution contract with Renault Trucks on Sept. 7 to become its second non-exclusive importer on Tunisian territory.

Ennakl also invested TND2.3 billion ($817.8 million) in its operations, maintaining its budgeted investments, particularly with the extension of the SEAT brand showroom.

As of press time, Oct. 23, shares in the company were trading at TND12 ($4.30). This is 1.5-percent higher than its opening price this month.

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Paystack Co-Founder Ezra Olubi partners with group of investors to inject $1.7 million into Brass Banking startup

The Nigerian digital banking startup seeks to address the underserved banking needs of local entrepreneurs.

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Nigerian fintech tycoon Ezra Olubi.

Leading Nigerian tech founders have partnered with investors to raise $1.7 million in funding for Brass Banking, a Nigerian digital banking startup that seeks to address the underserved banking needs of local entrepreneurs across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Ezra Olubi, co-founder of Paystack, which was earlier acquired by Stripe, and Olugbenga “GB” Agboola, co-founder of Flutterwave, joined forces with Hustle Fund, Acuity Ventures, Uncovered Fund and Ventures Platform to raise the capital.

Brass Banking is a fintech startup that delivers easy access to affordable premium commercial-grade banking services for small- and medium-sized businesses. It helps create a current account for companies within 10 minutes, a service hardly obtainable with traditional banks.

The digital bank was founded by Sola Akindolu, former head of product at Kudi, and Emmanuel Okeke, former engineering manager at Paystack, in July 2020,

Brass will invest the funds in accelerating its expansion into South Africa and Kenya, Nairametrics reported.

Moreover, Brass plans to launch several new product categories, including an expansion of its credit-market presence as it seeks to broaden its customer base.

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