9 October 2017

Kenya: Mauritius-Based Sbm Holdings Makes Offer for Chase Bank

Nairobi — Mauritius-based financial Institution SBM Holdings Limited has made an offer for Chase Bank Kenya subject to regulatory approvals.

The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) says it has received a non-binding offer from SBM Holdings Limited which is a viable proposal for the substantial resolution of Chase Bank Kenya, for the benefit of depositors and the strengthening of the Kenyan financial sector.

If agreed, it is expected that the proposed transaction will be concluded by the end of 2017.

The non-binding offer includes the acquisition of certain assets and matched liabilities from Chase Bank that is in receivership.

The transaction will also ensure a substantial recovery for depositors currently under moratorium and a transfer of a substantial number of staff and branches of the existing Chase Bank operations.

"Non-moratorium depositors will continue to have full unrestricted access to their funds. CBK and KDIC met with CBLR depositors and shareholders on October 6, 2017, and who were supportive of the non-binding offer," CBK says in a statement.

SBM is a leading financial services group and the third largest company listed on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius, with a growing international presence currently extending to Madagascar, India, and Kenya.

In May 2017, the firm acquired Fidelity Bank.

SBM has a market capitalisation of approximately $700 million (Sh72.2 billion), with the Government of Mauritius as a significant shareholder, and total assets in excess of $5 billion (Sh516 billion).

"Through this potential acquisition, and combined with its other operations in Kenya, SBM will bring its experience and expertise from Mauritius and other markets, to further enhance competitiveness and the resilience of Kenya's banking sector," CBK notes.

The regulator had earlier planned to complete its acquisition by the end of March after eight potential buyers expressed interest including Kenya Commercial Bank.

Chase Bank was placed under receivership in April 2016 following a bank run after reports of its liquidity hurdles gained traction online.

KCB later took over management of the bank with a plan to fine-tune the modalities of an acquisition.

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