By Chinenye Anuforo
First Bank of Nigeria Limited has announced the acquisition of the remaining shares in FBNBank Limited, Democratic Republic of Congo, making it its wholly owned subsidiary.
The bank said this follows its initial investment in former Banque Internationale de Credit in 2011, when it acquired a 75 per cent stake in the subsidiary.
Following the acquisition, FBNBank DRC has continued to expand its product offerings, deepen its customer base and is currently ranked amongst the top five banks serving the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a country with a population of more than 82 million.
Commenting on the acquisition, the Chief Executive Officer of FirstBank, Adesola Adeduntan stated, “This transaction underscores our belief in Sub-Saharan Africa’s growth and our focus on providing a differentiated banking experience throughout Africa. This acquisition further consolidates our already robust African footprints and positions FirstBank to take advantage of emerging opportunities in DRC and the sub-region. This increased investment by FirstBank in FBNBank DRC – the third largest banking entity in the group, will surely accrete value for shareholders.”
The CEO, FBNBank DRC, Mr. Akeem Oladele noted: “With 100 per cent holding by FirstBank, FBNBank DRC now has much greater flexibility to deliver differentiated propositions by fully tapping into the resources and innovative capabilities of FirstBank in 8 countries, on 3 continents. FBNBank DRC is also now uniquely positioned to deepen customer reach, broaden offerings and accelerate its growth from top 5 to top 3 in DRC.”
Recall that FBN recorded a strong gross revenue growth of 16 per cent in 2016, from N463 billion in 2015 to N536 billion in 2016, despite the challenging macroeconomic environment. Similarly, FirstBank recorded a 10 per cent growth in profit before tax.
FirstBank provides an array of world-class financial services to both corporate and individual customers, serving over 12 million customers in Nigeria and more than 300,000 customers outside the country. Recently, the bank was named the first financial service institution in Nigeria and the West Africa sub-region to have issued 10 million cards, making FirstBank one of only two banks in Africa to have achieved this feat.
The Bank and its Subsidiaries make up the banking group – with international presence in DRC, Ghana, Guinea, The Gambia, Sierra Leone and Senegal, as well as the United Kingdom and China. First Pension Custodian Limited, the non-bank subsidiary of FirstBank, is a market leading player in the Nigerian pension industry with assets under custody of about ₦2.6 trillion as at December, 2016.