Access Zambia plans merger with ABC

Access Bank Zambia Limited is set to merge with African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (ABC) after receiving approval from the Central Bank of Zambia. The parent company of Access Bank, Access Corporation, made this announcement in a regulatory filing on Friday.

The merger was initially announced in October 2021 when Access Bank Plc entered into a binding agreement with Atlas Mara Zambia, the owners of ABC Zambia, ultimately leading to the acquisition of the latter. The Central Bank of Nigeria and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Competition Commission had previously granted their non-objection to the transaction in 2022, according to Access Corporation.

By merging with ABC Zambia, Access Bank Zambia aims to become one of the leading lenders in the Southern African country. The merger is expected to result in 70 branches and agencies, total assets of approximately $1 billion, and over 300,000 customers in Zambia.

Herbert Wigwe, CEO of Access Bank, expressed that the transaction builds upon the earlier acquisition and merger of Cavmont Bank Plc into Access Bank Zambia. He emphasized the strategic focus on geographic earnings growth and diversification, highlighting the synergies between Access Zambia’s wholesale and transaction banking capabilities and Atlas Mara Zambia’s retail and public sector capabilities.

Wigwe anticipates that this collaboration will create a market-leading global platform that will significantly transform the Zambian market. Atlas Mara, based in the British Virgin Islands and holding stakes in various African lenders, recently sold its 50% stake in Union Bank in a deal with Titan Trust announced at the end of 2021.

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