FBN Holdings Plc agreed to buy out Access Bank Plc’s pension subsidiary Access Pension Fund Custodian in a deal involving 100% ownership transfer through its subsidiary First Pension Custodian Limited.
The acquisition will make it easier for First Pension Custodian to expand its footprint in a sector where it has been in charge of the safekeeping of pension assets 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 conditional on receipt of all regulatory approvals,” FBN Holdings said in a regulatory filing announcing the deal on Wednesday.
FBN Holdings’ most recent transaction occurred in June 2020, when it sold its insurance business, FBN Insurance Limited, along with its subsidiary FBN General Insurance Limited, to Cape Town-based Sanlam, Africa’s largest underwriter.
Access Holdings, which became a holding company earlier this year, announced the transaction in a separate note issued on Wednesday.
The group, which is currently Nigeria’s largest lender by assets, intends to use its holdco license to diversify away from traditional banking and into asset management, payments, and insurance, and has stated its intention to establish operations in six new markets, particularly those with the promise of stronger currency.
“What the holdco strategy allows us to do is look at new markets and new opportunities that the traditional bank does not allow us to do,” Herbert Wigwe, the financial services group’s chief executive, said in March in Lagos.
“My prediction is that by 2027, we will be one of the top five banks on the continent.”
Access Holdings is currently the continent’s 12th largest lender, with assets valued at N12.1 trillion as of the end of March.