Equity Bank secures $10m discount on buying Congolese lender

Tuesday August 11 2020

Equity Group CEO James Mwangi. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG


Equity Group Holdings Plc has completed the acquisition of a majority stake in the Congolese lender Banque Commerciale Du Congo (BCDC) at a discounted price of $95 million.

In September last year, Equity announced it had agreed with the majority shareholder— George Arthur Forrest and family— to acquire all the 625,354 shares (66.53 percent) owned by the Belgian entrepreneur at a cost of $105 million. The price of the transaction included dividends declared after January 1, 2019, in respect of the financial year ending December 31, 2019, meaning cum-dividend price per share of $167.9.

The regional lender in its statement on Tuesday said the takeover is now complete but at a cost of $95 million, making it the second-largest commercial bank in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The BCDC was majority-owned by George Arthur Forrest and family (66.53 percent) and the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (25.53 percent), while the remaining 7.94 percent shares are owned by other minority shareholders.

Equity Bank, with more than 14 million customers, has operations across the region in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and the DRC.

Last year, the lender announced plans to strengthen its subsidiary in DRC by acquiring BCDC and merging its business with the Equity Bank Congo S.A (EBC).


The Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed lender has also increased its shareholding in EBC to 94 percent from 86 percent after it bought an additional 7.6 percent stake held by the German state-owned development bank KfW.

“We have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to acquire two of the most solid banks in the market,” Equity Group’s Chief Executive James Mwangi said.

“With the second and fourth-largest banks in the country being our subsidiaries, we are confident that amalgamation and merger of the two subsidiaries will produce a combined bank with a balance sheet in excess of $2 billion with the capacity and capability to contribute significantly to the development and transformation of the DRC,” he said.