Access Bank, Intercontinental Merger Adjudged Africa`s Top M&A Deal

Access Bank’s merger deal with the defunct Intercontinental Bank has been judged Africa’s top merger and acquisition (M&A) deal by the Banker Magazine.
The Banker Magazine, a member of the Financial Times stable of publications, selected the Access Bank and Intercontinental Bank deal as the “2012 Mergers and Acquisitions Deal of the Year” for Africa.

The Banker’s Deals of the Year Awards celebrate the most impressive transactions in capital raising, M&A Corporate and SSA bonds, infrastructure and project finance, loans, structured finance, equities, restructuring, Islamic finance and this year a newly added trade finance category.
Many deals were undertaken in very difficult market conditions, while banks from emerging markets are noticeably playing a larger role in the top transaction in their countries.

In 2011, Access Bank embarked on the seamless acquisition of Intercontinental Bank, following Nigeria’s 2009 banking crisis. Intercontinental’s failure of Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) stress-test, coupled with other shortcomings towards CBN regulations triggered the approval by the CBN for the bank and others to be sold, in order to save depositors of their investments.
The government had injected capital into the bank (and 9 other banks) and given it two years to recapitalise – stand on its own feet. When it was evident that the case would not change, CBN approved the sale.

Intercontinental Bank has since been integrated making Access Bank one of the top banks in Africa. The acquisition has substantially changed the face of the Nigeria banking sector as Access Bank entered into the top tier, which previously comprised First Bank, Zenith Bank, Guaranty Trust Bank (GT Bank) and United Bank for Africa, (UBA).
Access Bank has risen to become the third largest Nigerian bank by assets. The bank’s acquisition increased competition in an already fierce retail market in Nigeria and could well drive down costs for consumers.