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Access Bank to acquire majority stake in Botswana’s fifth-largest bank

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Access Bank to pay N18.8bn dividend as profit declines

One of Nigeria’s biggest banks, Access Bank has concluded plans to acquire a majority stake in Botswana’s African Banking Corporation as it seeks to entrench itself on the continent.

According to reports, the African banking group started by former Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer, Bob Diamond, has agreed to sell its stake in African Banking Corporation to Access Bank.

This came just a month after the bank’s acquisition of a South African bank.

Access Bank is expanding across the African continent to counter stagflation and dollar shortages in Nigeria that have frustrated businesses and shrink the lending market.

The Nigerian bank will acquire just over 78 percent of BancABC Botswana for an undisclosed cash sum of around 1.13 times book value as well as a two-year deferred payment, a statement from Atlas Mara, the financial service company selling its stake in the Botswana bank to Access Bank, said on Monday.

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The deal with ABC Holdings, the local unit of London-listed Atlas Mara, expands Access Bank’s African presence to 10 countries.

It is expected to close before the end of the second quarter.

The Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe, confirmed the deal in a statement.

“We remain committed to a disciplined and thoughtful expansion strategy in Africa, which we believe will create strong and sustainable returns.

“BancABC is Botswana’s fifth-largest bank and has a quality retail book with the scope for expansion into corporate and small to medium-sized enterprise lending,” he said.

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