Equity Group Holdings  has  announced its intention to acquire Compagnie Générale de Banque (Cogebanque)  in Rwanda after signing a binding term sheet.  Upon completion of the transaction, the Group  will pay an aggregate cash consideration of RWF 54.68 billion (USD 48.1 million) for a 91.93% controlling equity stake. The acquisition of the fifth largest bank  and subsequent amalgamation of the business with that of Equity Group’s existing banking subsidiary will  position Equity as the second  largest bank in Rwanda .The lender  will have  a total combined assets market share of 18% and a deposits market share of 19% based on audited accounts as at 31st December 2022.

Equity Group’s investment and capital allocation is guided by the company’s strong growth history and robust outlook. Dr James Mwangi, Group Managing Director and CEO, Equity Group Holdings Plc said :  “Rwanda’s  five year average GDP growth rate at 6.5% ranks it amongst the ten  fastest growing countries in the world.” He added :  “Rwanda’s economic growth is expected to be supported by a continued ease of doing business and  recovery of global travel that will underpin its tourism as well as  meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) strategy targeting foreign direct investments  and  regional integration, besides  supporting trade and increasing contribution to its manufacturing sector. An underpenetrated financial services sector, with private sector credit and GDP being below 30% provide  a well-defined secular growth opportunity for the financial services Group.”

Economic prospects

In view of  this strategic development, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, Rwand’s minister of finance and economic planning said : “Equity Group’s acquisition of Cogebanque reflects the trust and confidence placed in Rwanda’s economic prospects and the resilience of our financial industry. The consolidation of these two institutions will undoubtedly contribute to the growth and stability of Rwanda’s banking sector, enabling us to provide better financial services to our citizens and facilitate economic empowerment.”

Rwanda has been Equity Group’s highest return business. The acquisition and amalgamation of Cogebanque will help shore and transform Equity Rwanda’s economies of scale with the resulting 54% growth in balance sheet, positioning it  to play a more meaningful role across the economy and the region in line with Equity Group’s Africa recovery and resilience plan (ARRP). The larger balance sheet with an enhanced single lending obligor limit will better support the financing needs and requirements of businesses in the high growth sectors further enhancing capacity for syndicated lending with other large banks in Rwanda.  This will   support the  economic growth of Rwanda as envisioned in the  country’s  Vision 2050 and facilitate growth in key sectors of tourism, MICE and manufacturing.

By  combining Cogebanque’s existing network of twenty eight  branches with that of Equity Rwanda, the bank will achieve countrywide distribution and coverage while acquiring and strengthening its micro,  small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) franchise, which is its core strength. The MSME segment of the Rwanda economy will greatly benefit from Equity’s strong product offering and innovative technology solutions.

“This acquisition and proposed amalgamation of Cogebanque with Equity Bank Rwanda will result in a strengthened national and regional commercial bank in line with, and underpinning Rwanda’s aspirations of being an international financial and business centre,” said Dr. Mwangi



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