African Bank Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy two units from a South African financial services company to bolster its lending business before a proposed initial share sale in 2025.
(Bloomberg) — African Bank Holdings Ltd. agreed to buy two units from a South African financial services company to bolster its lending business before a proposed initial share sale in 2025.
The lender acquired the commercial property and capital equipment financing businesses from Sasfin Holdings Ltd.’s units for 3.26 billion rand ($172 million), the company said in a filing on Friday.
The latest purchase is the bank’s third acquisition in little over a year. African Bank bought Grindrod Bank Ltd. for 1.5 billion rand and UBank Ltd. for 80 million rand last year in an attempt to rebuild its business and recover from a crisis in 2014 that prompted a central bank bailout.
“This expansion aims to offer a more compelling listing proposition to the investor market,” African Bank’s head of business banking Zweli Manyathi said. “This acquisition signifies our commitment to diversify our business banking’s revenues, asset classes, and risk profile.”
The purchase includes Sasfin Bank’s capital equipment finance unit and Sasfin Private Equity Investment Holdings Proprietary Ltd.’s commercial property finance business, according to Manyathi.
The transaction will help African Bank offer customers transactional accounts, internet banking, and mobile banking options, said Manyathi. A team of five professionals managing the commercial property financing business at Sasfin will join the African Bank team, he said.
African Bank has been considering options for shareholders — including the South African central bank — to exit. The South African Reserve Bank — which usually doesn’t hold stakes in lenders — took up shareholding alongside the Government Employees Pension Fund to rescue the bank from collapse.
African Bank now plans a 2025 initial public offering so the central bank can sell its 50% stake.
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