FIRSTBANK LTD (“FirstBank Commercial Banking Group” or the “Bank”), a subsidiary of FBN Holdings Plc announces today that it has completed the acquisition of a 100% equity interest in ICB GHANA, ICB SIERRA LEONE, ICB GUINEA and ICB GAMBIA from INTERNATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK FINANCIAL GROUP HOLDINGS AG (ICBFGH) (the “transaction”).
- The transaction has been effected through the completion of a Share Sale and Purchase Agreement with ICBFGH.
- As a result of the acquisition, FirstBank will consolidate its position as the largest corporate and retail banking financial institution in sub-Saharan Africa (excluding South Africa). The transaction delivers against FirstBank‟s stated ambition to win significant market share, expand its pan- African footprint and diversify earnings while delivering value to shareholders.
- The transaction also has considerable strategic benefits, directly aligned with FirstBank‟s growth plans and provides a very strong platform for regional growth, as the Bank expands its operations to take advantage of opportunities across the wider continent. The international expansion offers a range of benefits, including new growth options, a diversified geographic earnings profile, reduced country specific risk and wider customer benefits. By establishing a footprint in carefully selected African countries, the Bank expects to improve its ability to effectively serve an increasingly international profile of corporate and institutional customers
- The transaction has the support of the Boards of Directors of each of the banks involved and the relevant regulatory approvals have been obtained. The combined entity will be incorporated into the international banking operations of FirstBank, which are headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria.
Commenting on the transaction, Bisi Onasanya, Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank said:
The acquisition of ICBGFH assets in Ghana, Guinea, Gambia and Sierra Leone fulfils the first stage of our ambitions to steadily build a broader and more diverse footprint across Africa. We are committed to developing a multi-local business model that broadens our geographic revenue base while providing enhanced service delivery to our new customers.
By leveraging the transfer of FirstBank’s expertise and execution capabilities, supported by the Bank’s robust risk management and corporate governance policies, there is a strong opportunity for an appreciable rise in the combined entity’s asset turnover over time while net revenue synergies are set to improve profit margins.