The Central Bank of Kenya has approved the acquisition of 100% shareholding in National Bank of Kenya by KCB Group.
A KCB outlet. The bank has partnered with Japan’s biggest bank SMBC to expand their financial offerings provided to clients in both East Africa and Japan. [Photo/CALLA PR] [Photo/Business Today/File]

The wheels in motion keep moving as the proposed acquisition of National Bank of Kenya (NBK) by Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) inches closer.

By the minute, deliberations on the deal are gaining traction, and now, KCB is set to seek the approval of its shareholders.

Denoted as special business during the lender’s annual general meeting that is slated for May 30, KCB wants its shareholders to deliberate the proposed acquisition of NBK’s shares.

KCB refers to the proposed acquisition as a “take-over” scheme. It stated in a notice of AGM that if NBK shareholders accept the KCB shares being offered, then the National Bank of Kenya will become a subsidiary of Kenya Commercial Bank.

KCB is offering a maximum of 147,378,120 ordinary shares to the shareholders of NBK.

The deal, while subject to NBK shareholders, is also dependent on approval from the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).

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Both banks are listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and had caused a stir on April 18 when both of their stock trading was temporarily suspended at the bourse.

The suspension was lifted once NSE received a notice of KCB’s intention to acquire the NBK shares.

The Maundy Thursday announcement meant that KCB’s stock endured slight gains following the resumption of trading after the Easter weekend as investors continued to wade with caution over the deal.

At the same time, the lender is also considering purchasing banks in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

KCB will also pay Ksh10 to acquire the collapsed Imperial Bank, acquiring its five branches.

The lender which is East Africa’s largest by asset base, is also considering setting up a branch in China.

Over the past seven years, KCB has almost tripled its asset value from around Ksh297.5 billion in 2012 to approximately Ksh714.3 billion.

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