Equity completes merger with Rwanda’s Cogebanque

Equity Bank Rwanda Plc Managing Director, Hannington Namara addresses customers during the unveiling of the Equity Kigali Retail Branch (formerly Cogebanque) in Kigali, Rwanda. Equity Group Holdings PLC (EGH) has announced the merger of Compagnie Générale De Banque (Cogebanque) Plc (Cogebanque) and Equity Bank Rwanda Plc (EBR) effective 31st December 2023. The amalgamated entity is Equity Bank Rwanda Plc and with effect from 31 December 2023, the business conducted by Cogebanque and EBR prior to the Merger will be undertaken by EBR. The amalgamation, which followed the receipt of all corporate and regulatory approvals marks a significant milestone in the ongoing strategic growth initiatives of EGH. The combined entity is geared towards driving regional economic growth and prosperity in Rwanda.
In Summary

Regional lender Equity Group Holdings PLC (EGH) this week completed the integration and merger of Cogebanque […]

Regional lender Equity Group Holdings PLC (EGH) this week completed the integration and merger of Cogebanque and Equity Bank Rwanda, effective 31 December 2023. The amalgamation, which followed the receipt of all corporate and regulatory approvals comes after the initial acquisition last June by Equity, of 91.93pc of the stock in Compagnie Générale de Banque (Cogebanque) in a deal valued at USD 48 million.

Citing Rwandan law, Equity said January 3, that the business and activities previously conducted by Cogebanque and Equity Bank Rwanda would going forward be undertaken by Equity Bank Rwanda “which acquired all property, rights, privileges, and liabilities of Cogebanque.

“This means that Cogebanque will be deregistered in accordance with the law governing companies in Rwanda and, hence, will no longer be a subsidiary of EGH. Post-merger, EGH holds 99.816pc shareholding in Equity Bank Rwanda, with the remaining shareholding distributed among three other shareholders.”

The lender adds that over the coming weeks, Cogebanque branded branches and other outlets brand identity will transition to that of Equity Bank Rwanda, “symbolizing a seamless integration of services and a unified commitment to providing enhanced financial solutions to the people of Rwanda.”

“We are pleased to announce the successful merger of Cogebanque with Equity Bank Rwanda, a culmination of meticulous planning, regulatory diligence, and the collective efforts of our teams at Cogebanque and Equity Bank Rwanda,” a beaming Dr. James Mwangi, Equityt Group’s managing director and chief executive said.

“This merger, combining the strengths of the two entities, positions us to deliver even better access to competitive and tailored financial services, aiming to improve the lives and livelihoods of the people of Rwanda. We shall deploy the resources of the combined entities and of the Group to support regional economic development, transcending borders and fostering collaboration across nations. With a strategic presence in six countries, namely Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and South Sudan, Equity is well-positioned to be a driving force for cross-border trade support. ”

The acquisition of Rwanda’s fifth largest bank, and subsequent integration of the business has eased Equity Bank into the second largest bank in Rwanda with combined entity commanding a market share of 18pc and 19pc of deposits in Rwanda.

The group says that through the combined strengths of Equity Bank Rwanda and Cogebanque, Equity Group aims to expand opportunities for wealth creation while delivering significant value to stakeholders.

The transaction cements Equity Group’s systemic status in the region with the amalgamated Rwanda subsidiary joining Equity Bank Kenya and Equity BCDC in the Democratic Republic of Congo as banks with the second largest market share in their respective markets.

Before the merger, Equity Bank Rwanda was ranked third in the Rwandan market with 1,351,486 customers, a network of 18 branches, 3,880 agents, 23 ATMs and 1,775 merchants.  Post-merger with Cogebanque, Equity Bank Rwanda is now serving over 1,491,273 customers through a network of 46 branches, 4,516 agents, 59 ATMs and 1,777 merchants.

As of 30th September 2023, Equity Bank Rwanda Plc reported total assets of RWF 682.9 billion, and profit after tax of RWF 23.2 billion.   Within the same reporting period Cogebanque reported total assets of RWF 305,460,532, and profit after tax of RWF 5,630,504.

Dr. Mwangi further added, “We extend our gratitude to the regulatory authorities, shareholders, management, staff and all stakeholders who have supported us throughout this process. We are confident that Equity Bank Rwanda will play a pivotal role in driving economic growth and prosperity in Rwanda.”


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