KCB Group Plc has announced the completion of the acquisition of Trust Merchant Bank SA (TMB) after receiving all the regulatory approvals. The Group now owns an 85% stake in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) based lender.

KCB Group obtained the regulatory green light in Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the COMESA Competition Commission, setting the stage for the Group to acquire 85% of the shares in TMB.

KCB Group CEO Paul Russo said the transaction will positively contribute towards KCB’s increased scale of operations by establishing its presence in new markets and providing income diversification from a geographical perspective.

Further, the Transaction will enable KCB to accelerate its market presence in the DRC in the near term by leveraging on TMB’s 18-year operational history, vast branch network, valuable local customer relationships and deep knowledge of local business dynamics. In addition to the core banking business of TMB, the existence of an insurance subsidiary Afrissur SA will provide an opportunity for KCB to diversify its offerings in DRC’s insurance sector. This Transaction will provide KCB with a strategic foundation to capitalize on cross-border trade from the Indian to the Atlantic Oceans.

Through KCB’s expertise and experience, this presents a good opportunity for KCB to provide to the existing customers of TMB and new customers to be acquired as a result of the Transaction, enhanced banking products that are expected to grow and embed KCB’s brand in the DRC market and beyond.

“We have found a partner with a proven and trusted history of serving and supporting customers, businesses, and communities. Combining our common legacies and our complementary footprints will strengthen our ability to serve our communities and regional customers and provide solutions that make a difference in people’s lives. The acquisition extends our reach by providing customers access to a larger banking network and an expanded array of services. Our shared banking philosophies will provide significant long-term value for our shareholders, employees, and customers. I am incredibly excited about this opportunity and look forward to welcoming new customers and team members to the KCB family,” said Mr Russo.

KCB Group will operate TMB with its current brand and will enhance the current business operating model with the capabilities KCB has built over time in systems and processes. This will build on the strengths of TMB and enable TMB to deliver significant incremental value by being part of KCB.

“We see significant business opportunities from this acquisition arising from delivering innovative financial services to customers, growing linkages between customers in our region and realizing operational efficiencies which will deliver tangible value to key stakeholders,” said Mr Russo.

In the nine months ending September 2022, KCB Group Plc’s net profit rose 21.4% to KShs.30.6 billion on the back of sustained growth from both Net interest and non-funded income lines. This was a jump from KShs.25.2 billion reported for the same period last year.

TMB is one of DRC’s largest banks, with US$1.7 billion in total assets and a strong offering in Retail, SME, Corporate and Digital banking channels.  TMB’s bank branch network of 109 branches is supported by a substantial agency banking network, alongside a representative office in Belgium. In the DRC, the Bank commands an 11 percent market share as measured by total assets and is home to more than one in five bank accounts in the country.