Access Holdings Expands into Angola, Acquires Finibanco S.A. Bank
Access Holdings, Nigeria’s largest financial services group, has successfully acquired Finibanco S.A. Bank in Angola, marking its entry into Africa’s second-biggest oil producer. With this strategic move, Access Holdings aims to leverage its distribution network, technology, and governance practices to serve high-growth businesses and the consumer sector in Angola. The acquisition further strengthens Access Holdings’ position in the southern part of Africa, having already ventured into key markets such as South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique.
Access Holdings, Nigeria’s premier financial services group, has achieved a significant milestone in its expansion strategy by securing a foothold in Angola, the second-largest oil-producing nation in Africa. The successful acquisition of Finibanco S.A. Bank, a renowned financial institution in the country, was announced around two and a half months after Access Holdings had overcome regulatory hurdles.
This move marks Access Holdings’ further expansion into the southern part of the African continent, where it has already established itself in strategic markets such as South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique. Notably, Angola stands as sub-Saharan Africa’s largest economy after Nigeria and South Africa, presenting promising opportunities for Access Holdings’ growth.
CEO Herbert Wigwe conveyed his optimism for the acquisition, stating, “Our plan is to leverage our expansive distribution network, best-in-class technology, risk and governance practices to serve high-growth businesses and the rising consumer sector in Angola.” He emphasized the company’s commitment to acting as a catalyst for fostering innovation and promoting the development of Angola’s financial sector in alignment with their broader strategic growth objectives within the South Africa Development Community.
The approval for the acquisition deal from the Central Bank of Angola was obtained in May, setting the stage for the final approval from the Angolan Competition Authority. The deal was preceded by Access Bank, Access Holdings’ commercial banking division, reaching an agreement with interested minority shareholders of Finibanco S.A. to acquire their stakes.
Notably, Access Holdings invested a substantial amount of $300 million in Access Bank a month earlier, the same value as Finibanco S.A.’s total assets. As a result, Access Bank has secured an 80 per cent interest in the acquired lender, which operates a network of over 20 branches across Angola.
Despite facing a setback in its attempted takeover of Kenya’s Sidian Bank earlier in January, Access Holdings’ pursuit of an increased market share in East Africa’s largest economy remains evident. This ambition is evident from its successful acquisition of Transnational Bank in 2020.
Access Holdings has undertaken numerous strategic banking acquisitions throughout Africa in the past two years, positioning itself as Africa’s gateway to the world. Looking forward, the group aims to bolster regional trade finance and cross-border banking services by leveraging the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. Moreover, its UK subsidiary is strategically positioned as the anchor for future growth beyond the African continent.
Anticipating substantial growth, Access Holdings expects its African subsidiaries to double their revenue contribution over the next five years. With this latest acquisition in Angola, Access Holdings further solidifies its position as a key player in Africa’s financial landscape and aims to play a pivotal role in fostering economic growth and development across the continent.