Equity Group has received regulatory approval to merge the newly acquired Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC) with the unit it has been operating in the market since 2015.
The lender said Wednesday that it has received nod from the Central Bank of Congo and will now proceed to merge BCDC with Equity Bank Congo (EBC), which it bought from ProCredit Bank about five years ago.
Equity Bank, which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and cross-listed on the Uganda and Rwanda stockmarkets, already has a foothold in the DRC through Equity Bank Congo, re-named after the acquisition of 86 percent shareholding of ProCredit Bank between 2015 and 2017.
The combined outfit will become Equity Banque Commercial du Congo (Equity BCDC) and comes after the lender completed the acquisition of 66.53 percent stake in BCDC last August for $95 million.
The combined BCDC and Equity Bank Congo balance sheets will give the lender a total assets base of $2 billion, only second to Rawbank, which had an asset base of $2.1 billion as at December last year.
ProCredit had German roots, while Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC) was majority-owned by a Belgian family.
Equity Group chief executive James Mwangi said the merged outfit will have a single obligator limit— the maximum amount a bank is allowed to lend a single borrower in relation to the total shareholders’ fund— of Sh4.36 billion ($40 million).
“This will enable our customers in DRC to access higher credit limits to grow and expand their business ventures,” said Mr Mwangi.
“Our customer will access with ease the advanced digital banking, and merchant banking services with a suite of payment cards from international card associations.”
Equity holds 86.6 percent shareholding in EBC and the merger will see its stake in Equity BCDC become 77.5 percent. The other stake is held by International Finance Corporation, DRC government and minority shareholders.
All branches and other outlets of both EBC and BCDC will see their name and brand identity change to Equity BCDC.
Equity said the managing directors of the two banks—Yves Cuypers and Celestin Muntuabu—and their principal deputies will continue serving in the management committee with the combined board members forming the pioneer board of Equity BCDC.
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