Kenya’s Equity Bank has signed an agreement to acquire controlling interest in ProCredit Bank Congo, marking its entry into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Under the agreement, Equity Bank will pay about KES6bn ($61m) to purchase a 79% stake in ProCredit Bank, the seventh largest bank in the country in terms of assets.
The remaining interest in ProCredit will be owned by Germany’s state controlled development bank KfW holding 12% and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the World Bank’s private sector investment arm possessing 9%.
Equity Group Holdings CEO James Mwangi said: "Today we announce the objective of making our first step outside east Africa.
"In terms of entry, we have decided this country is too big to do a green-field. We have decided to acquire a bank.
"We have found a bank with a better quality in a more challenging environment. This is a bank that has focused on SMEs and that is what constitutes 70% of Equity Bank assets. So the risk is quite low."