Corporate NewsKCB Group Announces Strategic Transactions to Acquire ATLAS Mara’s Two Subsidiaries

With KCB's existing presence in these markets and strong banking capabilities in East Africa, the merged banks in each market can build on the significant progress made in recent years and be well positioned to succeed in the macroeconomic recovery to come

KCB Group has entered into a sale agreement with Atlas Mara (ATMA) that will see the Kenyan lender acquire the latter’s banking operations in Rwanda and Tanzania.

As part of the Transaction, KCB will acquire Atlas Mara’s 62.06% shareholding in Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (“BPR”) for cash consideration representing approximately 1.09 times book value and, through the Company’s subsidiary ABC Holdings Limited, all of Atlas Mara’s indirect interests in African Banking Corporation Tanzania Limited (“BancABC Tanzania”) for cash consideration representing approximately 0.42 times book value.

The actual cash consideration payable by KCB will be determined based on the final book value of the two banks at completion of the transactions. The transactions are expected to close during the first half of 2021, assuming regulatory approvals are received by then.

Michael Wilkerson, Executive Chairman of Atlas Mara, said, “as previously reported, in 2019 the Board of Atlas Mara commenced a review of strategic options. This included a review of each banking operation, and potentially partnering in or exiting markets where we do not have a clear near-term path to acceptable scale and profitability. As part of this review the Company evaluated indications of interest from a number of potential partners and transaction counterparties.”

“Our reshaping of the Group’s footprint has accelerated in the face of challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic and response, and in particular the impact to the economies and financial markets in which the Group operates. The Board is committed to exploring all avenues to ensure our core franchise is positioned to weather this downturn. We are engaged in discussions with the principal holders of the Group’s convertible bonds due December 31, 2020 and other creditors regarding a range of options to address the upcoming debt maturities for the benefit of all stakeholders. These discussions also aim to provide the Company with time to complete these and other transactions consistent with the Group’s strategic objectives. The Company is in the process of raising financing to support its operational funding during the pendency of these transactions, while it continues its efforts to reduce Group overhead and operating expenses.”

“This transaction with KCB is another significant milestone in our broader repositioning of the Group. It is firmly in line with the review of strategic options commenced by the Board in 2019, as well as with the strategic transaction announced earlier this year for the sale of African Banking Corporation (BancABC) Mozambique to Access Bank Plc.”

“BPR and BancABC Tanzania have been resilient and innovative during this uniquely challenging year, and we thank the teams for their hard work in continuing to serve our customers. With KCB’s existing presence in these markets and strong banking capabilities in East Africa, the merged banks in each market can build on the significant progress made in recent years and be well positioned to succeed in the macroeconomic recovery to come.”

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