FBN Holdings Plc through its subsidiar, First Pension Custodian Ltd has agreed to acquire Access Bank Plc’s pension subsidiary, Access Pension Fund Custodian in a deal involving 100% ownership transfer.
The acquisition will make it easier for First Pension Custodian to expand its reach in a sector where it has been in charge of the safekeeping of pension funds on behalf of contributors for the past 17 years.
“The Central Bank of Nigeria and the National Pension Commission have given their “no objection” to the transaction, with completion subject to the receipt of all regulatory approvals,” FBN Holdings said on Wednesday in a regulatory filing announcing the deal.
FBN Holdings last involvement in deal-making was in June 2020 when it sold its insurance business, FBN Insurance Limited alongside its subsidiary FBN General Insurance Limited, to Cape Town-based Sanlam, Africa’s biggest underwriter.
Access Holdings which converted to a holding company this year declared the transaction in a separate note also issued on Wednesday.
The group, currently Nigeria’s biggest lender by assets, plans to leverage its holding company licence to diversify away from traditional banking into asset management, payments and insurance, and has stated an ambition to set up operation in six new markets particularly those offering the promise of stronger currency.
“What the holdco strategy allows us to do is to look at new markets and new opportunities that the traditional bank does not allow us to do,” Herbert Wigwe, the chief executive of the financial services group said in Lagos in March.
“My sense is that by 2027, you will see us getting close to one of the top-5 banks in the continent.”
Access Holdings is at the moment the 12th biggest lender on the continent with assets valued at N12.1 trillion as of the end of March.