By G9ija

Access Bank completed a buyout of 78.15 per cent interest in the African Banking Corporation of Botswana Limited (BancABC Botswana), at the moment the fifth-largest lender in the Southern African country.

The acquisition is part of the plan to widen the take of Access Bank for trade and payments in the region and the broader COMESA regional economic community, Nigeria’s biggest bank by asset said in a note posted by the Nigerian Exchange on Tuesday.

The bank wants operations outside its base Nigeria to contribute at least 30 per cent of the group’s profit for this year, the purchase of controlling interest in BancABC Botswana taking its acquisitions within Africa so far this year to four.

Nearly six months in the making, the deal was first announced in April with a definite buyout expected at mid-year.

No disclosure was made of the transaction value in the document seen by newsmen but the stake purchase could push Access Bank’s asset valuation reasonably beyond the N10.1 trillion at half-year 2020 come this quarter’s end.

“We are pleased with the successful conclusion of this transaction which will provide significant synergies by combining BancABC Botswana’s strong retail banking operation with Access Bank’s wholesale banking capabilities,” said Group Managing Director Herbert Wigwe.

“It will also strengthen the quality of earnings through revenue diversification and growth in the corporate and SME banking segments for BankABC Botswana.”

Shares in Access Bank opened to trade in Lagos on Tuesday at N9.40 per unit.