Equity Group secures DR Congo bank

Regional lender Equity Group has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in the Congolese lender, Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC) at a discounted price of $95 million.

The group announced this development in a press statement on Tuesday, August 11, citing that it will pay $95m instead of $105m for a 66.53% stake in the Congolese bank because of the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

This makes Equity Group the second-largest commercial bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

In September last year, according to reports, Equity announced it had agreed with the majority shareholder, George Arthur Forrest, and family, to acquire all the 625,354 shares (66.53 percent) owned by the Belgian entrepreneur at a cost of $105 million.

However, both parties have “Taken into account the events that have taken place since the entry into the agreement and particularly that the Covid-19 pandemic is having adverse effects on the economies of the world and the economy the Democratic Republic of Congo” the statement reads in part.

Additionally, the Group’s Chief Executive, James Mwangi pointed out, “The merged entity will firmly be on the path of becoming the largest banking entity in DRC within a period of one year.”

As it stands, Equity Bank which has more than 14 million customers, has operations across the region in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and the DRC.

“With the second and fourth-largest banks in the country being our subsidiaries, we are confident that amalgamation and merger of the two subsidiaries will produce a combined bank with a balance sheet in excess of $2 billion with the capacity and capability to contribute significantly to the development and transformation of the DRC,” he said.

eashimwe@newtimesrwanda.com

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