Investors in securities of Atlas Mara Zambia on the Lusaka Securities and Exchange have been notified of a takeover bid by Access Bank, according to a statement from the Bank.
“In accordance with the Securities Act No. 41 of 2016 and with reference to the announcement issued by Atlas Mara Limited on 25th October 2021 on the London Stock Exchange, the Board of Directors of African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited (“the Board” or “the Bank”) wishes to inform holders of the listed notes, as well as other market participants that Atlas Mara Limited (“the Group”) has reached an agreement with Access Bank Plc to combine its subsidiary in Zambia and the Zambian subsidiary of Access Bank in a proposed merger transaction. The proposed Trasaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other conditions precedent”, read a statement issued by order of the Board by Company Secretary Sandra Malupande in Lusaka on 26 October 2021.
In January 2021, Bloomberg, reported that Atlas Mara Lted. Was considering options for its stake in a Nigerian Bank after receiving takeover interest for one of its last remaining assets. At the time, the Zambia asset was mentioned as one of the businesses set for sale to the Nigerian lender and the firm was nearing regulatory approval for asset disposals to Access Bank.
Fast forward to present day, the SENS announcement is indicative of an advancement in the deal that would see Access Bank increase its footprint in Zambia. In Nigeria, a filed notice on the local stock exchange has confirmed that “Access Bank Plc has disclosed that a binding agreement with Atlas Mara Limited has been executed on the proposed merger between African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited and Access Bank Zambia Limited”.
With the two exchanges issuing SENS announcements, all is set for following the completion of the transaction which will see Access Bank retaining or increasing its current shareholding in Access Bank Zambia which currently has approximately $1 billion in total assets, over 300,000 customers in Zambia and over 70 branches and agencies.