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Nigerian lender to acquire 80 percent stake in Finance Trust Bank

KAMPALA, January 23, 2024 - Nigerian business group, Access Holdings has announced that its flagship subsidiary, Access Bank PLC (Access Bank) has entered into a definitive agreement with Uganda's Finance Trust Bank [FTB] and its selling institutional shareholders for the acquisition of a majority equity stake in FTB.

This was contained in a notice to the Nigerian Exchange Limited, the investment public, and made available to the media.

The deal will also see Access Bank concurrently acquiring the shares currently held by FTB’s Institutional Shareholders who have sought to exit to a strategic, long-term shareholder.

According to a statement from the Group. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals by the Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank of Uganda and is expected to close in the first half of 2024, following the fulfilment of customary conditions precedent. Following the anticipated closing of the transaction, Access Bank would own an estimated 80 percent shareholding in FTB.

It noted that coming at a time when commercial banks in Uganda are looking to increase their capital, this strategic acquisition presents an opportunity for Access Bank to partner with FTB and its stakeholders to create more significant opportunities for financial inclusion, product diversification, and, ultimately, greater customer-centricity.

Access Bank’s presence in over 20 countries globally presents a robust platform that FTB’s customers can leverage to boost trade opportunities with the rest of the world.

Commenting on the Transaction, Roosevelt Ogbonna, Managing Director of Access Bank Plc said: “The prospective acquisition of a majority equity stake in Finance Trust Bank marks an important milestone for Access Bank as we strengthen our regional presence in the East African Community trade region. This also moves us closer to realising our five-year strategic plan through continued expansion to achieve scaled benefits across key African markets.

He added: "Beyond our expansion goals, this deal will enable the Bank to deepen its community and women impact initiatives, as we will be building on FTB’s mission to effectively deliver innovative financial solutions to customers and stakeholders, especially women. Our storied history and experience in gender initiatives and women empowerment will greatly benefit FTB’s current deposit and loan portfolio – which currently comprises about 40 percent women – and the larger Ugandan community.”

Annet Nakawunde Mulindwa, Managing Director of Finance Trust Bank said: “Finance Trust Bank is thrilled to announce this transformative partnership with Access Bank PLC, as it marks a pivotal moment in our growth journey and presents an extraordinary opportunity for our valued customers and stakeholders. This strategic alliance will fortify our position in the financial landscape and enable us to offer our customers a broader array of innovative products and services.”

She added: “As we embark on this journey, we extend our heartfelt appreciation to our loyal customers, dedicated employees, and valued shareholders for their unwavering support. Leveraging Access Bank’s global presence and expertise, we look forward to reaching new heights and continuing to serve as a trusted financial partner to our customers and communities across Uganda."

Access Holdings noted that the transaction will enable both banks to merge their technological resources, providing Finance Trust Bank customers with access to secure and diversified digital platforms for seamless transactions and banking services provided by Access Bank.

Furthermore, FTB would be able to leverage Access Bank’s expertise in building deep sector relevance across several industries and tap into revenue opportunities across new customer segments which cut across business and retail banking.

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