KCB plans yet another Tanzania buyout bid

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KCB Group is still open to pursuing another bank buyout in Tanzania after dropping its bid to acquire BancABC Tanzania from London-based Atlas Mara Limited.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange -listed firm has been looking to scale up its operations in Tanzania where it already runs KCB Bank Tanzania, a fully-owned subsidiary.

Chief executive Joshua Oigara said the bank will from July be resuming talks on possible acquisition targets in the country that is one of Kenya’s major trading partners in the region.

“We are always looking for opportunities. So in Tanzania definitely,” Mr Oigara said.

“We had a final conversation with BancABC in December. Our focus largely today is on other countries. Tanzania is something we will come back to perhaps in the second half of this year.”

KCB and Atlas Mara called off the proposed transaction in December, citing regulatory hurdles. The Kenyan banking multinational had sought to make a full buyout of the Tanzanian lender for cash consideration based on the target company’s book value.

The proposed Tanzanian deal fell apart after KCB successfully acquired a 62.06 percent stake in Rwanda’s Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) in August from Atlas Mara. A consolidation of BPR and KCB Bank Rwanda is set to double the Kenyan multinational’s market share, making it the second largest bank in that country.

Mr Oigara said KCB expects to complete the buyout of BPR’s minority shareholders by June.

“We had offered all the minority shareholders to purchase their shares and that conversation is going on at the moment. By the time we come to June, those willing to sell their shares will be able to and those willing to remain will remain,” he said.

KCB is among the country’s big banks that are expanding aggressively in the region, seeking diversification and growth in neighbouring countries.

The home-grown lenders, however, still get most of their earnings from the local market but their foreign subsidiaries’ contribution to consolidated earnings has been on the rise.

Source: Business Daily

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