Grobank, Access Bank in gateway to Africa transaction

Oct 2, 2020

In an exciting move expected to deliver a robust banking operation that connects key African markets, Access Bank Plc has entered into a definitive agreement with the holding company of Grobank Limited, GroCapital Holdings Limited, to invest up to ZAR400 million into the Bank over the next two years.

The investment will be made in two tranches with an initial cash consideration for a 49% shareholding, and a second transaction, increasing to a majority equity stake, with both tranches subject to various regulatory approvals.

Grobank CEO Bennie van Rooy says the transaction remains subject to shareholder, regulatory, and Competition Commission approvals, and that the initial transaction is expected to become unconditional on or before 31 October 2020.

“Grobank welcomes the agreement with Access Bank, which will ensure that Grobank remains sustainable and will continue to support all its stakeholders while opening doors to growth opportunities both in the short and long term.”

Access Bank is a leading full-service commercial bank operating through a network of more than 600 branches and service outlets, spanning 3 continents, 12 countries, and 31 million customers. The Bank employs 28,000 people in its operations across Africa and the United Kingdom (with a branch in Dubai) and representative offices in China, Lebanon, and India.

The agreement will see Grobank being renamed Access Bank South Africa Limited once the necessary approvals have been obtained, says Van Rooy, with a broader focus and ability to serve a number of other industries alongside its current focus on the food value chain, a key sector for Grobank.

Solid investment and commitment

“Access Bank is a strong, robust, and credible shareholder with a passion for Africa and strong support for its future operations in South Africa,” Van Rooy says. “This agreement not only brings solid financial investment but a commitment to financing and facilitating a sustainable future for our clients through innovation and best in class operations.”

GroCapital Holdings, whose shareholders include the Afgri Group Holdings, Public Investment Corporation – Africa’s largest investment manager – and Fairfax Africa Holdings, a leading global investor, will retain an existing but diluted shareholding in the bank.

The proposed transaction is expected to provide Access Bank with access to the largest banking market in Africa and enable a broader African footprint with enhanced capabilities to fulfill the needs of multi-national clients.

Says Van Rooy: “Grobank is excited at the prospects on offer for our clients and funding providers, as well as the planned growth of our footprint coupled with the renowned Grobank personalised customer service into new market sectors across the continent.”