South Africa’s third biggest bank, Nedbank has secured the rights to acquire up to a 20 per cent stake in Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) within two to three years, the company stated as it released its 2011 earnings yesterday.

Nedbank chief executive officer, Mike Brown, said in a statement yesterday that expanding into the rest of Africa was one of the group’s key strategic initiatives.

“In the rest of Africa we deepened our strategic alliance with Ecobank by providing a facility in support of Ecobank’s corporate development programmes, including its transformational banking acquisition in Nigeria and in so doing, secured rights to acquire up to 20 per cent of Ecobank Transnational Inc within two to three years”, Brown said.

Nedbank has total assets of R648 billion ($87.56 billion),and a market capitalisation of R73.6 billion ($9.95 billion). It also has 15,913 staff strength, with 454 branches in South Africa.

Going by ETIs current market capitalisation of N136.4 billion ($860 million), a 20 per cent equity stake will cost Nedbank N27.28 billion ($172.6 million) at today’s prices.

Ecobank had recently concluded its acquisition of Oceanic Bank; one of the Nigerian lenders bailed out by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), and used a $285 million loan facility granted by Nedbank to help facilitate that buyout.

Following the acquisition of Oceanic Bank by ETI, Nigeria now accounts for 52per cent of total assets and 41per cent of customer loans for ETI.

ETI ranks among the top four banks in Nigeria with over 600 branches and 890 ATMs, Jibril AkuManaging Director of Ecobank Nigeria said last week. Click here to continue reading

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