Equity Group Holdings Plc (EGH), has successfully completed its acquisition of a 99.13% stake in Compagnie Generale de Banque (Cogebanque) PLC, a bank based in Rwanda.
The acquisition completed on November 30, 2023 officially makes COGEBANQUE a subsidiary of Equity Group, marking a significant milestone in Equity’s regional expansion strategy.
“We are delighted to welcome COGEBANQUE’s employees and customers to Equity Group. Through our focus on innovation, cutting-edge technology, and superior service, we aim to provide enhanced financial services, improve lives, expand opportunities for wealth creation, and deliver significant value to all our stakeholders in Rwanda.’’ Equity Group Holdings CEO, Dr. James Mwangi, said.
According to Mwangi, the expansion of Equity Group’s business in Rwanda aims to bolster Rwanda’s financial services landscape and fortifies the Group’s commitment to catalyzing socio-economic development across the African continent.
Equity expressed its interest in acquiring Cogebanque from its sellers –the Government of Rwanda, Rwanda Social Security Board, Sanlam Vie Plc, and other shareholders –on June 14, 2023, before entering into a purchase agreement on July 28, 2023.
The bank agreed to acquire, on completion, 183,854 shares at a price of Rwanda Francs 297,406 per share.
Simultaneously, EGH offered to acquire all the remaining shares from the rest of the COGEBANQUE shareholders, intending to acquire up to 100% of the issued shares of COGEBANQUE.
The completion of the acquisition was subject to various conditions, including confirmatory due diligence, execution of definitive agreements, regulatory approvals from the Central Bank of Kenya, the National Bank of Rwanda, the COMESA Competition Commission, and corporate approvals.
Founded in 1963, Cogebanque was the fifth largest bank in Rwanda in assets at the end of 2022 and served customers through twenty-eight branches.
Equity Group, which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE), has a presence in six countries -the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, South Sudan, and Rwanda, and a representative office in Ethiopia.
The lender’s subsidiaries outside Kenya have significantly supported its growth with stronger revenues, as its Kenyan subsidiary record a slower growth occasioned by economic shocks.
In the nine months ending September 2023, for instance, revenue grew 81 percent to Sh39.2 billion in DRC, while Equity Bank Uganda registered a 33 percent revenue surge to Sh10.8 billion.
In Rwanda, Equity Bank’s revenue grew 38 percent from Sh4.9 billion to Sh6.8 billion, while in Tanzania and South Sudan, revenue surged 10 percent and 13 percent to Sh3.8 billion and Sh2.9 billion, respectively.
“This strategic alignment is designed not only to meet the diverse needs of our customers but also to catalyze economic growth, empower local communities, and contribute to the realization of the Group’s vision as Sub-Saharan Africa’s premier financial institution.” Added Mwangi.