Equity Group Holdings Plc (EGH) has announced the finalisation of its acquisition of Compagnie Générale de Banque Plc (COGEBANQUE) a commercial bank in Rwanda , marking a significant expansion in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. This strategic move has resulted in EGH holding 198,250 shares, representing 99.1250% of COGEBANQUE’s issued share capital, thereby officially integrating COGEBANQUE as a subsidiary.
The journey towards this acquisition began on June 14, 2023, when EGH disclosed its intentions to acquire 91.93% of COGEBANQUE’s issued shares from various stakeholders, including the Government of Rwanda. This process involved thorough due diligence, definitive agreement execution, and obtaining necessary approvals from regulatory bodies like the Central Bank of Kenya and the National Bank of Rwanda. The acquisition was finally cemented with a share purchase agreement on July 28, 2023, where EGH agreed to buy 183,854 shares at Rwanda Francs 297,406 per share. In parallel, EGH aimed to acquire up to 100% of COGEBANQUE’s issued shares by offering to buy out the remaining shareholders.
Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda, has expressed optimism about this consolidation. He believes that the merger of Equity Bank Rwanda Plc and COGEBANQUE will lead to a more resilient banking institution, which is crucial for addressing the financial needs of Rwanda’s population and contributing to the nation’s economic growth and development. This acquisition also reflects the growing investor confidence in Rwanda’s economic potential, offering new opportunities for the financial sector to flourish.
Dr. James Mwangi, Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings Plc, highlighted the benefits of this acquisition. He noted that COGEBANQUE’s integration into Equity Group is more than a financial maneuver; it’s a strategic alignment designed to enhance service delivery through innovative and cutting-edge technology. He emphasized that this move is in line with Equity Group’s Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan, aiming to strengthen its position in Rwanda and support socio-economic development across Africa.
Furthermore, Dr. Mwangi pointed out the synergistic potential of combining COGEBANQUE and Equity Bank Rwanda. This strategic alignment is expected to cater to the diverse financial needs of customers, stimulate economic growth, empower local communities, and reinforce Equity Group’s vision as a leading financial institution in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The recent financial results of Equity Group Holdings, as of September 30, 2023, underscore the success of its expansion strategy. The Group reported a 20% growth in deposits, a 26% increase in loans, and a 24% surge in total assets, with significant contributions from its subsidiaries, including Equity Bank Rwanda.
In summary, the acquisition of COGEBANQUE by Equity Group Holdings is a landmark event in the African banking sector, promising enhanced financial services, economic growth, and socio-economic development across the continent.