In a strategic move to bolster its regional influence, Equity Group Holdings Plc (EGH) has successfuly concluded the acquisition of Compagnie Générale de Banque (Cogebanque) Plc.

This transformative venture, sealed on Thursday, sees EGH securing an impressive 99.1250 per cent stake in Cogebanque, formally cementing its status as a subsidiary.

Initiating this milestone journey on June 14, 2023, EGH unveiled a binding term sheet, outlining the acquisition of 91.93 per cent of Cogebanque's shares.

The Sellers, including the Government of Rwanda, Rwanda Social Security Board, Sanlam Vie Plc, and Judith Mugirasoni, were key players in this strategic deal.

Navigating through a rigorous process, the acquisition's culmination required confirmatory due diligence, regulatory nods from the Central Bank of Kenya, the National Bank of Rwanda, the COMESA Competition Commission, and corporate green lights.

Uzziel Ndagijimana, the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, expressed optimism about the consolidation's positive impact on Rwanda's economic tapestry.

"The amalgamation of Equity Bank Rwanda Plc and Cogebanque will fortify a more robust banking institution, adept at addressing the needs of Rwanda's populace," remarked Ndagijimana.

He underscored the investment community's confidence in Rwanda's economic potential, foreseeing new prospects for the financial sector.

Formalizing their commitment on July 28, 2023, EGH inked a share purchase agreement with the Sellers, securing 183,854 shares at Rwanda Francs 297,406 per share.

Simultaneously, EGH extended an enticing offer to other Cogebanque shareholders, aiming to claim full ownership with an ambitious bid of up to 100 per cent.

James Mwangi, the dynamic Managing Director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings PLC, radiated enthusiasm, declaring, "We extend a warm welcome to Cogebanque's employees and customers into the Equity Group family. Our commitment to innovation, cutting-edge technology, and superior service positions us to elevate financial services, enrich lives, and create expansive opportunities for wealth generation in Rwanda."

Mwangi expounded on the strategic implications of merging Cogebanque with Equity Bank Rwanda, aligning with the overarching Africa Recovery and Resilience Plan.

He highlighted the power of synergy, propelling EGH to deliver an extensive suite of competitive, personalized financial services, thereby contributing to economic growth and community empowerment.

Equity Group Holdings reported robust growth as of September 30, 2023, with a 20 per cent increase in deposits to Sh1,208.6 billion.

Subsidiaries contributed significantly, showing a 49 per cent growth, and Equity Bank Rwanda recorded a notable 39 per cent increase.

Loans grew by 26 per cent to Sh845.9 billion, driven by a 46 per cent growth from subsidiaries and a 20 per cent growth from Equity Bank Rwanda.

Total assets surged by 24 per cent to Sh1,691.2 billion, with subsidiaries contributing 47 per cent and Equity Bank Rwanda showing a remarkable 40 per cent growth.

The successful acquisition of Cogebanque not only enhances Equity Group's influence in the financial services landscape but also underscores its unwavering commitment to fostering socio-economic development across the African continent.