KCB Rwanda and BPR become one bank | New times

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KCB Rwanda Plc and Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (BPR) have started a process of merging into a single entity called BPR Bank, lender officials said.

This follows the announcement by KCB Group, the parent company, that they had completed the acquisition of a majority stake in BPR on August 25.

The KCB group had initially planned to acquire 62.06 percent of the capital of BPR Plc held by Atlas Mara Group and later in February it acquired 14.61 percent of the issued share capital of BPR held by Arise BV.

This makes the KCB Group the majority owner with 76.67 percent. Earlier this year, KCB made an offer to buy all remaining shareholders to own 100% of the bank.

“We are pleased to report that after successfully obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals and consents and fulfilling all other agreed closing conditions, both transactions have been completed with KCB assuming majority ownership and control of the operations of BPR from August 25, 2021, ”notes a joint press release from the two banks.

Once the merger is completed, the combined bank will become the second largest bank in the local market in terms of assets and market share and the most extensive branch network.

“We are delighted to finalize this acquisition of BPR, a strong retail and SME bank with the largest branch network in the sector and a long history of over 45 years in the country. This transaction will see the combined bank become the 2nd largest bank in the industry, ”said KCB Group CEO and Managing Director Joshua Oigara.

Officials say the merger is expected to give KCB Rwanda customers access to a larger network of branches and agents across the country, while BPR customers will benefit from KCB’s progress in digital capacity, transactional banking solutions, trade finance expertise and international banking services.

“This will increase our scale and improve our operational leverage by allowing us to deliver our existing retail and wholesale offerings to a wider customer base in Rwanda while positioning the bank for long-term sustainable growth,” added Oigara.

BPR Managing Director Maurice Toroitich said that from the transaction and transition clients will benefit from being part of a large banking group in East Africa, KCB’s digital banking capabilities, ” a complementary network of agencies and agents, a range of innovative products, among others.

The merged entity, he said, will focus on deepening financial inclusion as well as lending and trade finance solutions for entrepreneurs and SMEs in the country.

“I want to reassure our clients that the security of their accounts, the stability of banking operations and high quality customer service will remain the top priorities of the combined institution during the transition,” said Toroitich.

The BPR was established in 1975 as a community savings and credit scheme and then transformed into a fully-fledged commercial bank in 2008 with a particular focus on retail and SMEs.

In 2016, BPR merged with the commercial wing of the Banque de Développement du Rwanda (BRD), which it acquired in 2014, giving Atlas Mara the controlling 62.1% stake in BPR.

KCB Group, on the other hand, is arguably East Africa’s largest commercial bank established in 1896 in Kenya. Over the years, the Bank has expanded to Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.

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