Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) has extended its footprints in the East African region by acquiring Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) from Atlas Mara Limited.

According to Joshua Oigara, the Chief Executive Officer of KCB, they have secured the regulatory approvals in Kenya, and Rwanda for the takeover.

Under the deal, KCB Bank Rwanda will be merged with BPR and rename the combined entity as BPR Bank, making it the second largest bank in the country.

“The combined history of BPR and KCB will take the group to greater heights, giving us a stronger edge to play a bigger role in driving the financial inclusion and economic empowerment agenda in the East African region,” Oigara said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

KCB has subsidiaries in Tanzania, South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi as well as a representative office in Ethiopia.

Oigara observed that the completion of the transaction in Rwanda will give the Kenyan financial institution a stronger edge in deepening the ongoing group strategy to scale regional presence.

“This will increase our scale and improve our operating leverage by enabling us to deliver our existing retail and wholesale offerings to a wider base of customers in Rwanda while positioning the bank for sustainable growth in the long-term,” Oigara added.

KCB announced in November it had signed a deal with Atlas Mara to buy 62.06 per cent stake in BPR and a 100 per cent stake in Banking Corporation Tanzania (BancABC), with the latter awaiting approvals from regulators.

Oigara said it is still looking to close the deal on BancABC that will see it acquire 96.6 per cent stake from ABC Holdings Limited and 3.4 per cent stake from Tanzania Development Finance Company Limited.

He said that the proposed acquisition is pending some regulatory approval.