Thursday, April 30, 2015

Atlas Mara planning to become BPR shareholder and merge BPR with BRD Commercial Bank

BVI-registered company Atlas Mara Limited announced that it is in discussions about investing approximately US$22.5 million in Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR). If this transaction is successfully concluded, Atlas Mara will become the owner of 45 per cent in BPR. Further on, the company plans to merge BPR with BRD Commercial Bank Ltd, which was purchased by Atlas Mara in October 2014. This merger will provide Atlas Mara with a platform to meet demand for corporate credit, and leverage mobile technology to provide differentiated product offerings to the retail segment. The transaction is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2015, subject to binding legal agreements and regulatory approvals.

The BVI company will also purchase shares from local shareholders, and as a result it will have over 70 per cent in the combined institution which, with assets of about US$305 million, will become Rwanda’s largest bank by branch locations, and second largest bank by assets.

BPR’s focus, which will be maintained by Atlas Mara, is on under-banked sectors, such as small- and medium-sized enterprises and farmers. At 31 December 2014, the bank had approximately US$227mln of assets, US$155mln in loans, US$181mln in deposits and US$23mln of equity.