KCB ups stake in Rwandan unit

Thursday September 15 2022
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Customers wait to be served in the banking hall at KCB Kencom branch in Kenya's capital Nairobi. PHOTO | FILE


KCB Group raised its stake in its Rwandan subsidiary by an additional 10.8 percent to 87.5 percent after merging KCB Bank Rwanda and Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) in May, new disclosures show.

The Kenyan banking multinational bought a 62 percent stake from London-based Atlas Mara Ltd and another 14 percent from private equity firm Arise in a deal that was closed last year and had set sights on sweeping the remaining 24 per cent owned by minority owners.

KCB also received regulatory approval in March from Rwanda’s banking regulator, the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR), to merge the operations in the country, resulting in a higher stake courtesy of the injection of the assets of KCB Rwanda into the merged entity that is trading under the name BPR Bank Rwanda Plc.

It also points to a dilution of the stake held by the minority shareholders, whose 24 percent stake post takeover has now shrunk to 12.5 percent. KCB disclosed the higher stake in the Rwanda subsidiary through a circular that it sent to shareholders detailing its proposed takeover of Democratic Republic of Congo lender Trust Merchant Bank.

“In May 2022, we successfully launched our new bank – BPR Bank Rwanda PLC resulting from the amalgamation of Banque Populaire du Rwanda and KCB Bank Rwanda. This merger catapulted our business to become the second largest bank in Rwanda,” KCB said in the circular released last week.

The lender estimated at the time of the takeover that a full buyout of BPR would cost it an estimated Sh6.4 billion if minority investors were offered the same terms as Atlas Mara which was paid Sh3.96 billion for its 62 percent stake. Atlas Mara will get an additional Sh314 million which has been deferred.


The acquisition gave KCB a larger retail banking footprint in Rwanda. BPR had a 10.2 percent market share ahead of the merger, which combined with KCB Rwanda’s six percent share saw it overtake second-placed Equity Bank Rwanda’s 11 percent of the market.