Nigeria’s top lender, Access Bank, will acquire a majority stake in Sidian Bank from Centum Investments for Ksh4.3 billion ($36.8 million), two years after it entered the Kenyan market with the buyout of Transnational Bank.
Centum Investments on Tuesday announced a binding agreement to sell an 83.4 percent stake in Sidian to the Nigerian lender, which has been on an acquisition spree in Africa.
The deal is the latest in Kenya’s banking sector, where tougher supervision by the central bank and the proliferation of lenders have sparked a consolidation round in the industry since 2017.
Access acquisition of Sidian marks Centum’s exit from Kenya’s lucrative financial services market after buying the majority stake in then K-Rep Bank in 2014.
Access Bank acquired a 99.98 percent stake of Transnational Bank in 2020 from Close associates of former President Daniel Moi in a deal valued at Ksh1.56 billion ($13.3 million). Access, which has assets of $25.5 billion, focuses on corporate retail banking and it is expected to boost the growth of Sidian, which will be merged with Transnational Bank that was renamed Access Kenya.
Sidian, which started as a non-governmental organization before converting to a micro-financier in 1989 and later to a bank in 1999, mainly lends to small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
“Centum Investment Company Plc (‘Centum’) announces today that it has entered into a binding agreement with Access Bank Plc (‘Access Bank’) regarding a proposed purchase by Access Bank of Centum’s entire equity stake in Sidian Bank Limited,” Centum’s CEO, James Mworia, said in a statement to newsrooms.
“It is expected that in due course, Sidian will be merged with Access Bank’s subsidiary in Kenya to create a stronger banking institution positioned to serve the Kenyan market,” he said.
The Nigerian lender has closed several buyout deals in Africa recently, including the acquisition of South Africa’s Grobank and loss-making Cavmont Bank from the Zambian arm of Namibian financial services group Capricorn.
It became Nigeria’s biggest lender last year, a status it achieved after it acquired rival Diamond Bank in a $235 million deal that it said was meant to create Africa’s largest bank by customers.