Access Holdings to raise $1.8bn ahead of Nigerian banks’ recapitalisation

Access Holdings the parent company of Nigeria’s largest bank by asset base, Access Bank, plans to raise $1.5 billion (₦2.09 trillion) through a bond or share sale and a further $287 million (₦399.9 billion) from its shareholders via a rights issue to fund its ambitious growth plans as well as meet up with a new capital requirement by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

In a circular sent to banks seen by TechCabal, the apex bank increased the minimum capital requirement to $364.56 million or naira equivalent of ₦500 billion by March 31, 2026, to address rising macroeconomic challenges in Africa’s largest economy.

“The prevailing macroeconomic challenges and headwinds occasioned by external and domestic shocks have underscored the need for banks to raise and maintain adequate capital to enhance their resilience, solvency, and capacity to continue to support the growth of the Nigerian economy,” CBN said in a circular on Thursday.

Access Bank, Nigeria’s third most capitalised bank with $190.6 million (₦251.8 billion), would need to raise an additional $187.8 million (₦248.1 billion) to meet the new recapitalisation requirements of the central bank. 

On Thursday, the Holdco, Africa’s largest consumer bank, said that it will ask its shareholders to authorise the plans at an annual general meeting set for April 19.

Access’ wants to raise part of the funds by increasing its issued shares from ₦17.7 billion to ₦26.6 billion. The company has asked for regulatory authorisation to raise capital of up to ₦365 billion by way of a rights issue on such terms and conditions and on such dates as may be determined by the directors.

Access’ decision to recapitalise comes amid a rapid expansion in Africa, including a recent acquisition of Kenya’s National Bank of Kenya (NBK) from KCB Group in a deal estimated at $100 million.

Paul Russo, KCB Group CEO, revealed that keeping NBK would have required the bank to inject up to $60.7 million, despite sinking $106.3 million since buying it in 2019. The war chest will allow Access to expand its footprint in East Africa’s largest economy with the NBK acquisition.

Already, the bank has operations in 15 African countries with a keen interest in revving up its presence and becoming the largest bank on the continent by 2027.

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