The South African unit of BNP Paribas – a French-based lender with a focus on emerging markets – has acquired 100 percent of South Africa’s provider of unsecured loans, RCS, for R2.6 billion ($250m) in cash.

This acquisition comes after The Foschini Group (TFG), which owns RCS, recently said it had plans to reduce its stake in RCS to less than 50 percent, cutting its exposure to the unsecured lending market.

The other 50 percent of RCS is owned by Standard Bank of South Africa, which is a South African unit of Standard Bank Group, Africa’s biggest bank by assets with operations on 18 African countries.

RCS is an unlisted independent consumer finance firm that is focused on providing retail credit card facilities, insurance and personal loans to South Africa’s middle class. It provides these services in association with numerous retail firms in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana.

The deal is expected to be effective 31 July this year after the fulfilment of relevant conditions that satisfy competition authorities. The deal is expected to be completed on or about 1 September this year.

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