Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has given nod to a top Nigerian lender to acquire Transnational Bank, a mid-tier lender associated with the retired president Daniel Moi and his associates.
CBK governor Patrick Njoroge announced on Friday that he has given green lights to the deal coming months after the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) also endorsed the transaction.
“The Cabinet Secretary for the National Treasury and Planning has also approved the acquisition of up to 100 percent of the issued share capital of Transnational Bank Plc by Access Bank Plc,” Dr Njoroge announced.
The acquisition will be concluded on February 1 by Nigeria’s Access Bank, extending the mergers and acquisitions in Kenya’s banking sector.
Dr Njoroge said the deal will strengthen the resilience of Kenya’s banking sector given that Access Bank is the largest lender in Nigeria with an asset base of about Sh1.61 trillion ($16.10 billion).
Other banks that have been acquired in the last seven years include Fina Bank, Giro Commercial bank, Oriental Commercial Bank, Fidelity Bank, Chase Bank and Imperial Bank.
The deal will see Nigerian banks deepen their presence in Kenya with United Bank of Africa (UBA) and Guarantee Trust Bank already in the market.
Access, with assets worth Sh1.17 trillion, also has presence in Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Congo, Zambia, China and the UK.
Acquisition of Transnational brings to an end the existence of the 35-year-old Kenyan bank with 28 branches. Its top owners include companies owned by close associates of Moi including Joshua Kulei, Simeon Nyachae and late former vice-president George Saitoti.