African lender Vista Bank has agreed to acquire majority stakes in France’s BNP Paribas’ banks in Guinea and Burkina Faso.
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, builds on the bank’s West African operations in its home-country Guinea, and in Sierra Leone and The Gambia.
A majority interest in La Banque Internationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie de la Guinée (BICIGUI) means Vista Bank is now the largest bank in Guinea, adding to an existing 22 branches.
Its entry into Burkina Faso through La Banque Internationale pour le Commerce L’Industrie et L’Agriculutre du Burkina (BICIAB), extends its regional footprint to four countries.
Simon Tiemtore, chairman of Vista Group and Lilium Capital, said: “This is a milestone event in Vista’s growth strategy. The acquisition of BICIAB in Burkina Faso allows us to establish ourselves in the West African Monetary Union (WAEMU) region as a springboard for our further expansion. The integration of BICIGUI with our existing bank in Guinea propels Vista from the fifth largest bank to the largest bank in Guinea in terms of both total assets and number of branches.”
The acquisitions allow Vista to leverage its portfolio of high net worth and large blue-chip corporate customers to increase the focus on small and medium enterprises (SME) and mass retail sectors, Tiemtore adds.
The lender believes it has the “scale” and “critical momentum” to deliver on its digital and intra-African trade strategies in West Africa, expecting to benefit from the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area and spread into other African regions in the future.
Afreximbank’s Intra-African Trade Initiative as well as its Advisory and Capital Markets arm advised and structured the financing of the deal.
Deloitte and Astura also assisted Vista on financial and legal aspects of the transaction.