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Equity rebrands Congo subsidiary three years after acquisition

James Mwangi
Equity Group chief executive James Mwangi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Equity Group’s #ticker:EQTY Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) subsidiary ProCredit bank has changed its name to Equity Bank Congo.

The name change comes almost three years after Equity announced completion of acquisition of ProCredit Bank, an SME-focused lender in the DRC.

“The expertise of the bank remains the same since 2015 and the staff also, only the name will change,” DRC subsidiary’s managing director Celestin Mukeba told the local media.

In April last year, Equity Group acquired an extra seven per cent stake in the unit for Sh2.2 billion cash, underlining its confidence of the unit’s future prospects.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed bank first acquired a 79 per cent interest in Pro Credit Bank in September 2015 for Sh4.5 billion in a share swap deal that saw the Kenyan multinational issue 70.8 million units of its stock to investors who were exiting the subsidiary.

“We are excited about our entry into sub-Saharan Africa’s third most populous country through the investment in a fast growing, well established and highly regarded bank,” said Equity Group chief executive James Mwangi in 2015.

Equity is among Kenyan lenders which have drawn up an ambitious growth strategy to gain market share in retail banking at home and in the eastern Africa market as they seek new income streams and grow income amid regulatory headwinds.

Up to 96 per cent of the citizens were unbanked in the vast and resource-rich DRC with a population of over 85 million as at 2015.

German fund KfW and the International Finance Corporation held a 12 per cent and nine per cent stake respectively in Pro Credit in 2015.