Atlas Mara Co-Nvest completed its acquisition of Rwanda’s Commercial Bank, a commercial subsidiary of the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), and appointed Konde Bugingo as its CEO.
The Commercial Bank is a newly incorporated entity formed after an internal reorganisation of BRD, which transferred most of its existing commercial banking assets and liabilities.
In 2011, BRD was valued at $42.3m, and previous statements on Atlas-Mara’s purchase suggest that the acquisition amounts to a 77% stake in the former holdings of BRD.
It is expected that the Commercial Bank will be built on a plot already set aside alongside the BRD in Kigali. It will receive a full commercial banking license shortly, once certain conditions are satisfied, and while shareholders will retain their rights in the development bank section.
Atlas CEO John Vitalo, noted: “It is our third closing, following the acquisitions of BancABC and ADC, and expands our presence in the vibrant East African Community in which Rwanda is well-positioned to serve as an important financial services hub.
“Rwanda has been an exemplar of the economic possibilities of Sub-Saharan Africa and BRD has been a key part of that growth. I am looking forward to working closely with Konde Bugungo and his team to assist in the financial development of Rwanda and the region.”
Atlas-Mara was formed by Bob Diamond, the former CEO of Barclays and founder of Atlas Merchant Capital, and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group Holdings, and was listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in December 2013.
Atlas Mara’s strategy is to create sub-Saharan Africa’s premier financial institution through a combination of its experience, expertise and access to capital, liquidity and funding and to support economic growth and strengthen financial systems in Africa.
Atlas-Mara’s appointee, Bugingo, was formerly CEO of Rwanda’s national payments switch RSwitch and COO of Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), Rwanda’s second largest bank.
Atlas-Mara first announced the BRD deal as an MoU in April, alongside plans to tap into Zimbabwe’s investment market through the launch of a $208.8m (€150m) Eurobond.
Just the month before, the investor also signed a deal to acquire the Sub-Saharan banking group ABC Holdings for $265m in cash and shares and its shareholder ADC African Development Corporation (ADC), funded by the Atlas Mara’s $325m IPO in 2013.
At the time Thakkar expressed: “With the combination of BancABC’s regional expertise, ADC’s initial platform and Atlas Mara’s global experience, we can build a truly pan-African financial institution to address needs across the continent for a meaningful and lasting positive impact.”