Rwanda: KCB Group Eyes Full Acquisition of Rwanda's BPR

KCB Group has offered to go beyond its initial proposal of 62 per cent stake in acquisition of Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc owned by Atlas Mara Group to acquire 100 per cent, The New Times has learnt.

KCB has since November 2020 been in the process of acquiring the bank which is majority owned by Atlas Mara Group and has since signed a definitive agreement for the acquisition.

According to the Group's Annual report, KCB has made an offer to buy out remaining shareholders to fully own the bank.

"The Group has made an offer to the remaining shareholders of BPR for the acquisition of the remaining stock at the same terms as Atlas Mara's to raise its ownership to 100%. This expansion was driven by the Group's 2020-2023 Beyond Banking Strategy, which seeks to tap into new growth opportunities as part of our efforts to scale our regional relevance," the annual report noted.

"In Rwanda, upon completion of the acquisition, the KCB Group is expected to double its market share, thereby becoming the second largest bank in the country and solidifying KCB Group's leadership position," the report further read.

The Group is planning on leveraging on its market expansion strategies to increase the existing subsidiaries' market share as well as pursue non-banking opportunities and pursue mergers and acquisitions to scale.

The acquisition of entire operations of Atlas Mara owned entities in Rwanda and Tanzania will see KCB Group spend an estimated $56.9 million, reports indicate.

Prior projections had noted that 62 per cent stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) and a 100 per cent ownership in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited would cost KCB about $40 million.

That means that the 38 per cent stake from minority shareholders at current value could be in the range of $16 million.

The process is subject to approval by various regulatory bodies including Central Banks of the two countries, Capital Markets Authorities among others.

Prior to the new deal, Equity Bank Group in April 2019 expressed intention to acquire 62 percent stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda Limited (BPR) but in January 2020 announced the suspension of the process.

BPR is the result of an investment of about $20.4 million (about Rwf15.4 billion) in Banque Populaire du Rwanda and a consequent merger with BRD Commercial Bank Ltd, previously part of Development Bank of Rwanda.

In April 2015, Atlas Mara Limited acquired minority shares in BPR and later in 2016 merged BPR with the commercial wing of the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), which it had acquired in 2014 giving Atlas Mara the controlling stake of 62.1 per cent of shares in BPR.

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