Nigeria: “Our Vision is Now Global,” Says Nigeria’s Access Holdings as It Begins $233 Million Capital Raise

"Our Vision is Now Global," Says Nigeria's Access Holdings as It Begins $233 Million Capital Raise
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Access Holdings Plc, the parent company of Nigeria’s largest bank by assets, has announced plans to raise ₦351 billion ($233 million) from existing shareholders to support its ambitious goal of becoming “the world’s most respected African bank.” The capital raise will involve offering 17.7 billion new ordinary shares at ₦19.75 each.

In a presentation to shareholders and stakeholders at the Nigeria Exchange Limited (NGX) on Tuesday, the 35-year-old financial institution, valued at ₦696.69 billion, outlined its global expansion strategy.

“When you are the largest bank in Nigeria and one of the largest banks in Africa, where do you go from here? Our vision is now global, very, very global,” said Access Holdings Plc Chairman Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede.

With over 60 million customers and a presence on three continents, Access Holdings aims to enter new markets, including the United States, and establish a trade booking office in Malta.

“We are very selective in the markets we invest in. We are chasing the money. It isn’t a return on ego. We are focused on where the money is,” stated Roosevelt Ogbonna, Access Bank MD/CEO.

Utilization of Funds

Access Holdings plans to use the funds raised to support various strategic initiatives:

  • Loan Book Expansion: ₦223 billion (65% of the proceeds) will be allocated to growing its loan book, enhancing lending services across corporate, commercial, retail, and SME segments.
  • Infrastructure Development: ₦68.62 billion (20%) will be used for infrastructure upgrades and development.
  • Distribution and Product Channels: ₦51.46 billion (15%) will be invested in expanding distribution and product channels, including new branches in Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Abuja over the next 24 months.

With this fresh capital, Access Holdings aims to become “the world’s first truly African global brand in the financial sector.” Since its acquisition by Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede and his late partner Herbert Wigwe in 2002, Access Holdings has pursued an aggressive growth strategy, marked by local and international acquisitions. The bank now operates in 18 countries.

Notable milestones include the 2012 merger with Intercontinental Bank, the 2019 merger with Diamond Bank, and the 2023 acquisition of majority shares in Standard Chartered Bank’s subsidiaries in Angola, Cameroon, The Gambia, and Sierra Leone. In June 2024, Access Holdings acquired African Banking Corporation of Tanzania (ABCT) Limited.

“There is no Nigerian bank that was our size in 2002 that is still alive today. Some of the banks that analysts now compare us with, you couldn’t mention Access beside those banks in 2002. It’d have been an insult to those institutions,” Ogbonna remarked.

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