Kenya: Ecobank completes EABS Bank takeover

Jun 2008
Kenya, June, 17 2008 - Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI) on Monday completed its takeover of EABS Bank by renaming it Ecobank Kenya Limited, appointing a new chief executive and reconstituting its board of directors.

The transnational, which acquired a 75 per cent of the Kenyan bank, appointed businessman Peter Kanyago as the new chairman as it replaced all but three members of the former member board.

“The Pandit family, the single largest shareholder of the bank will retain 25 per cent representation in Ecobank Kenya Limited,” Albert Essien, Ecobank’s regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa, said.

With Philip Ikeazor replacing Raj Pal Arora as managing director, only lawyer Surinder Kapila and EABS Bank’s founder, the late Lalit Pandit’s sons Dhruv and Raj, found their way into the new board.

Other board members are corporate communication practitioner, Gina Din Kariuki, and Nairobi lawyers Mohammed Nyaoga and Simon Mauncho.

Mr Essien and Michael Monari, the Ecobank Kenya’s executive director, complete the board. Mr Essien said the group plans to scale up the bank’s operations by doubling its branch network from the current 10 in the first year while utilising their West African-based Sh2.4 billion ($40 million) information technology (IT) centre.

The group, which already operates microfinance subsidiaries in Ghana and Nigeria in partnership with Accion International, would open a similar subsidiary in Kenya to tap into the fast growing microfinance sector. Mr Ikeazor, the new MD, announced that the bank would focus on both retail and corporate business with investment banking following later.

EABS Bank was formed after the merger of the then East African Building Society, which the late Pandit started with a mere Sh5,000 in 1959, and Akiba Bank in October 2005.

Ecobank Group, which has a market capitalisation of Sh167.4 billion ($2.7 billion) and 8,700 employees working in 490 branches, consists of 21 commercial banks across 23 countries in West and Central Africa, including Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana and Central Africa Republic.

Source : Nation Media

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