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Atlas Mara Signs Deal With KCB To Take Over 62.06% Of BPR

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Atlas Mara Limited(“Atlas Mara”)and KCB Group Plc (“KCB”)announce that they have signed a definitive agreementregarding a proposed acquisition of 62.06% of the issued share capital of Banque Populaire du Rwanda Plc (“BPR”) by KCB followed by a subsequent merger with KCB’s wholly owned subsidiary operating in Rwanda, KCB Rwanda.

Once implemented, the combined bank is expected to double its market share resulting in a robust balance sheet and capital structure that will support growth in the post covid-19 macroeconomic recovery period thus ensuring the banks’ customers benefit from being a part of one of the biggest Banking groups in East Africa.

The transaction is subject to the fulfillment of various conditions precedent among which, include regulatory approvals by the National Bank of Rwanda,the local and regional competition commission authorities and all relevant entities.

The key highlights of the proposed transaction include:•A complementary transaction that combines KCB Rwanda’s strong corporate banking franchise with BPR’s retail and commercial banking operations.

KCB Rwanda and BPR’s customers to benefit from a well-capitalised banking group,enhanced product and service offering,and a broader distribution network in country and across the region.

Following the legal merger of the two banks, the enlarged entity is expected to be the 2nd-largest bank in the country and will be a majority owned subsidiary of KCBGroup Plc Commenting on the transaction, KCB Rwanda Managing Director Mr. George Odhiambo, said: “We are delighted to have reached agreement on a proposed merger with BPR, a strong retail and commercial bank with the largest branch network in the industry and long history spanning over 45 years in the country.

“This merger, which will see the combined bank becoming the 2ndlargest bank in the industry, will increase our scale and improve our operating leverage by enabling us to deliver our existing retail and wholesale offerings to a wider base of customers in Rwanda while positioning the bank for sustainable growth in the long-term.”

The merger will provide current KCB Rwanda customers with access a larger network of branches and agents across the country, while BPR’s customers would benefit from best in class digital capability, transactional banking solutions, trade finance expertise and international banking offering from KCB.

Through this transaction, we will play a greater role in Rwanda’s economic expansion, using our combined balance sheet to support our clients while leveraging our enhanced distribution network to deepen financial inclusion and provide lending and trade finance solutions to entrepreneurs and SMEs in Rwanda”.

Maurice Toroitich, MD of BPR, said: “We are very pleased to reach this agreement with KCB for the proposed merger with KCB Rwanda. This transaction represents an opportunity for BPR to benefit from being part of large banking group in East Africa and will benefit from KCB Rwanda’s digital banking capabilities, complementary branch and agents network, innovative product offering across retail, SME, corporate and payments as well as trade finance and international banking offering leveraging the broader KCB regional footprint. I want to assure our clients that the safety of their banking operations and high quality customer service will remain our top priorities during the transition. They can look forward to new products and services as the combined institution pursues sustainable growth. Our mission to serve and support our customers during this challenging time to leverage on the combined business to continue to contribute much more meaningfully to economic development of the country.We look forward to working with the KCB Rwanda team.”

KCB Group Plc is East Africa’s largest commercial Bank that was established in 1896 in Kenya. Over the years, the Bank has grown and spread its wings into Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Ethiopia (Rep).

Further to the banking businesses in these markets, KCB Group owns National Bank of Kenya, a Kenyan lender.

Today KCB Group Plc has the largest branch network in the region with 360 branches, 1,090ATMs and over 23,230 merchants and agents offering banking services on a 24/7 basis in East Africa.

Additionally, KCB Group owns KCB Insurance Agency, KCB Capital Limited, KCB Foundation and Kencom House Limited as non-banking businesses.

The Bank has a wide network of correspondent relationships totaling over 200 banks across the globe and our customers are assured of a seamless facilitation of their international trade requirements wherever they are.

The proposed transaction is firmly in line with Atlas Mara’s repositioning as a streamlined holding company with an increased focus on a core footprint.

The merger will see BPR’s strong retail, commercial and SME loan capability and branch network leverage KCB Rwanda’s best in class digital platform and product suite to create a platform for further growth and the facilitation of financial inclusion for the unbanked in the country.

Corporate customers can expect to benefit from KCB Rwanda’s strengths in transactional banking, trade finance, treasury, international payments and loans through the wider distribution network of the enlarged bank and KCB’s presence in the key countries across the East African region.

BPR and KCB Rwanda will draw on Atlas Mara and KCB’s strong track records of post-merger integration to ensure a successful combination.

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