The move comes after KCB Group PLC secured the requisite regulatory approvals in Kenya, and Rwanda making it the majority shareholder in BPR effective from 25th August 2021.
In a statement announcing the acquisition, KCB Group CEO and MD Joshua Oigara have explained that the completion of the transaction in Rwanda will give the bank a stronger edge in deepening the ongoing group strategy to scale regional presence.
“The combined history of BPR and KCB will take the Group to greater heights, giving us a stronger edge to play a bigger role in driving the financial inclusion and economic empowerment agenda in the East African region,” said Oigara.
“This will increase our scale and improve our operating leverage by enabling us to deliver our existing retail and wholesale offerings to a wider base of customers in Rwanda while positioning the bank for sustainable growth in the long-term,” he added.
BPR is a strong retail and SME Bank with the largest branch network in the sector and a long history spanning more than 45 years in Rwanda.
Oigara revealed that the plan is to merge KCB Bank Rwanda and Banque Populaire du Rwanda to create one banking entity in Rwanda to be named BPR Bank.
The merged banks will become the second largest bank in the industry and KCB Group has already appointed an integration committee comprising senior executives to achieve this in a few months.
Oigara says the merger will see KCB Rwanda’s customers access a larger network of branches and agents, while BPR’s will benefit from best-in-class digital capability, transactional banking solutions, trade finance expertise and international banking offering from KCB.
KCB Group also plans to acquire 100 per cent stake in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited (BancABC) from ABC Holdings Limited (96.6 per cent) and Tanzania Development Finance Company Limited (3.4 per cent). The proposed acquisition is however pending some regulatory approvals.
By acquiring BPR and BancABC, Oigara says, KCB will get the chance to rapidly upscale its balance sheet and revenue streams placing it on the path to greater prosperity despite the pandemic.