Equity Bank, the second largest bank in Kenya by assets, has unveiled plans to acquire a major stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) Atlas Mara.
The development to acquire 62 per cent stake in the lender was confirmed by the Chief Executive Officer of BPR, Maurice Toroitich.
Toroitich told The New Times that this was however the beginning of a long process to conclude the deal.
"The announcement is just for the start of the process. Still far from completion," he said on Tuesday.
He added that there were still many things to be done which could delay the process until somewhere in 2020.
Among these, he said, include confirmatory due diligence, agreement of fine terms and execution of substantive agreements, shareholder and regulatory approvals.
“The process could last any time until early 2020," he noted.
Toroitich sees the transaction as a good deal for the country’s financial market.
"The deal is very good for the market because once the two banks are combined, we shall have another strong bank in the market which will be able to do more than what each one of the banks can do on their own," he said.
It will therefore have positive implications for customers and shareholders in the long run, he added.
The combined entity (when it happens), being part of a strong group, the chief executive says, will also provide great career growth opportunities for forward looking staff.