I&M Holdings Plc and Orient Bank Limited signed an agreement in July 2020 to acquire 90 percent shareholding of the Ugandan entity. The acquisition was completed on 30th April 2021 after receiving the necessary approvals from the Central Bank of Kenya, Bank of Uganda, Capital Markets Authority of Kenya and the COMESA Competition Authority.
“I&M Group aspires to be Eastern Africa’s leading financial partner for growth. The acquisition of OBL will place I&M Bank in an advantageous position to capitalise on the growth in the Eastern African economies and thereby ultimately increasing shareholder value,” said I&M’s Group Executive Director, Sarit Raja Shah.
“This acquisition is expected to give the group greater capacity to grow profitably, through extending our network to our regional customers. Further it demonstrates our continued leadership role in the industry across East Africa,” Shah added.
Shah noted that Uganda has made great strides in improving access to financial services across the country. “The partnership with Orient Bank Limited is very timely since the Group plans to play a significant role in the growth of the banking sector in Uganda, as it has done in other East African markets,” Shah concluded.
The move underscores I&M Group’s commitment to its growth and expansion strategy in Eastern Africa, where Uganda was the missing link in its strategic effort to set up its presence in all EA countries. A key focus of this strategy is to seek opportunities to invest at a local and regional level enabling the bank to serve the needs of all customers while promoting trade flows within the region.
Commenting on the deal, Dr Ketan Morjaria, a founding member of OBL and continuing shareholder and director said, “This acquisition marks a great milestone in the history of Orient Bank. We are proud to be integrating into a regional group like I&M Holdings Plc and this synergy will allow our customers to benefit from more seamless and superior banking products whilst continuing our tradition of trust.”
Through the acquisition, I&M Group has acquired an additional customer base of close to 70,000, a staff component of 340 employees and a network of 14 branches and 22 ATMs across Uganda. “The acquisition of OBL into I&M Holdings Plc will see the new entity rise to greater heights and allow us to broaden our market reach and penetration. The management of OBL are excited to be part of a large and fast growing group and look forward to serving new and existing customers alike with better products, digital platforms and regional services,” said OBL’s CEO, Kumaran Pather.
The transaction with OBL adds to a list of previous strategic alliances that the group has effectively completed such as the acquisition of Giro Commercial Bank Limited in Kenya, I&M Burbidge Capital Limited in Kenya and Uganda, CF Union Bank in Tanzania, BCR Bank in Rwanda and First City Bank in Mauritius.