TORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS--(Marketwired - Jan 7, 2016) - ATLAS Mara Limited (
7th January 2016
Sale of BPR Equity Stake to Atlas Mara and Commencement of Operational Integration of BPR and BRD Commercial Bank
Atlas Mara Limited ("Atlas Mara"), the sub-Saharan African financial services group, and Banque Populaire du Rwanda ("BPR"), one of Rwanda's leading financial institutions, are pleased to announce the completion of Atlas Mara's acquisition of an equity stake in BPR and the commencement of the operational integration of BPR and BRD Commercial Bank Limited ("BRD Commercial").
Atlas Mara has invested approximately USD 20.4 million (RWF15.3bn) in BPR and, in addition, will merge BRD Commercial Bank Ltd ("BRD Commercial"), the Rwandan bank acquired by Atlas Mara in 2014, into BPR, resulting in a majority stake in the combined entity with Rabobank and other existing shareholders retaining a minority stake. The combined bank, which will use the "BPR" name, will represent a formidable institution in the market, ranking as Rwanda's largest bank by branch locations and, with assets of approximately USD 325 million, the second largest bank by total assets. Sanjeev Anand, formerly Managing Director of I&M Bank in Rwanda from 2009-2015, who had also served in various senior management positions at Citibank in Nigeria, Uganda, Zambia and India, has been appointed Chief Executive Officer ("CEO") of BPR and, subsequently, the combined entity.
John Vitalo, CEO of Atlas Mara, said: "We are very pleased to have concluded this important transaction with BPR. BPR's customers, employees and minority shareholders will benefit from the enhanced capital base, enlarged distribution network and expanded capabilities of the combined group. We are also delighted that Sanjeev Anand, one of Rwanda's most highly regarded banking executives, has joined as CEO of BPR to lead this exciting new chapter in the bank's history. We would like to thank Ephraim Turahirwa for the leadership he has provided BPR during the past three years and wish him the very best. Furthermore, we remain optimistic about Rwanda's prospects, are supportive of the country's efforts to become East Africa's financial services hub and we look forward to contributing meaningfully to the ongoing development of financial services in the country."
About Atlas Mara
Atlas Mara was listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in December 2013. Atlas Mara's strategy is to create Sub-Saharan Africa's premier financial services institution through a combination of its experience, expertise and access to capital, liquidity and funding. Its goals are to combine the best of global institutional knowledge with extensive local insights and to support economic growth and financial inclusion in the countries in which the Company operates.
BPR was founded in 1975 when the people of Nkamba, a village in the current Eastern Province of Rwanda, created a savings and credit cooperative to enhance the livelihoods of members of the community through the provision of financial products (this was the first Banque Populaire). In subsequent years, an umbrella group for the various "Banque Populaires", or cooperatives, was put in place, with its headquarters in Kigali. In 2008, this group became a fully-fledged commercial bank while retaining its cooperative roots. BPR offers value-added financial services countrywide to farmers, agribusiness enterprises, private individuals, micro enterprises, SMEs and development program partners.
About BRD Commercial
On 15 October 2014, Atlas Mara acquired 100% of the voting shares of BRD's commercial operations (now known as BRD Commercial), which was formed after an internal reorganization of BRD and subsequent transfer of its existing commercial banking assets and liabilities into a newly incorporated commercial bank. BRD Commercial offers retail banking products, mortgages and long-term financing products to its customers.
For more details please contact:
Atlas Mara Investor Contact: Bradford Gibbs (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Kojo Dufu (email@example.com)
Atlas Mara Media Contact: Anthony Silverman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
BRD Commercial: Judith Muhongerwa (Judith.Muhongerwa@brdcombank.rw)
BPR: Gisele Niyonzima (Gisele.NIYONZIMA@bpr.rw)