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Kenya

Equity Completes Acquisition of Congolese lender at a cost of Sh10.2bn

NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 11- Equity Group Holdings PLC has completed its acquisition of 66.53 percent stake in the Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC) at a cost of USD 95 Million – Sh10.2 billion.

The Bank now has two subsidiaries in the Democratic Republic of Congo having earlier acquired ProCredit, a German bank, now Equity Bank Congo.

BCDC is the oldest bank in the country, having been established in 1909.

The Group’s Managing Director and CEO James Mwangi amalgamation and merger of the two subsidiaries will produce a combined bank with a balance sheet in excess of Sh216.2 billion, which contributes more than 20 percent of the Group’s total balance sheet.  

It will also have the capacity and capability to contribute significantly to the development and transformation of the country.

“We have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to acquire two of the most solid banks in the market,” he said.

He added that the merged entity will firmly be on the path of becoming the largest banking entity in DRC within a period of one year, ‘given the leadership, managerial and financial resources of the Group and the business synergies that will go with being a member of regional group.’

“We are glad that we now have the size and countrywide infrastructure that can bring our experience and capability to contribute significantly to the transformation of lives and livelihoods in DRC, while stimulating the economic transformation of the country through resource allocation,” said Mwangi.

He added, “The addition of and amalgamation with BCDC will put Equity Group Holdings Plc on the path to become a Sh1 trillion balance sheet business, that will benefit from economies of scale.”

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The Congolese bank is majority owned by George Arthur Forrest and family at 66.53 percent and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo at 25.53 per cent while the remaining 7.94 per cent shares are owned by other minority shareholders.

George Forrest had the following to say about the transaction, “My decision to sell my shares in BCDC to Equity was because I knew Equity would preserve and develop it to further enhance the lustre it deserves. BCDC has contributed greatly to the creation and development of the DRC and has contributed in writing its history over the last 111 years (one hundred and eleven years). I sell my shares to Equity in the trust that it will make it the largest bank in Congo and continue to contribute to the development and transformation of the country.”

He added, “Today the transaction is closed, and I am a happy man and proud to have passed on to Equity the torch of this wonderful institution. Today I wrote the last page of my chapter of the book called BCDC and I am at peace that Equity will continue writing the wonderful story of BCDC.”

 “I express our gratitude to Forrest and his family, the board and management of BCDC for their openness and trust during the period of the transaction. We are grateful for the trust and confidence bestowed on us,” added Mwangi.

Equity bank currently has more than 14 million customers with 289 branches across the region with operations in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan and the DRC.

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