FirstBank, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings, has purchased 100% equity interest in International Commercial Bank Financial Group’s (ICBFG) West African businesses including ICB Ghana, ICB Sierra Leone, ICB Guinea and ICB Gambia.

The total number of branches acquired is 28, among which 17 are in Ghana, five in Guinea, four in Gambia and two in Sierra Leone.

The acquisition allows FirstBank to gain market share, expand its pan-African footprint and diversify earnings while delivering value to shareholders.

With over 120,000 customer accounts and services focused towards mid-corporate, small and medium enterprises (SME), and retail segments, the ICBFG has assets that will enhance the FirstBank’s balance sheet by 1.32%.

FirstBank also receives a range of benefits including new growth options, a diversified and broader geographic earnings profile, reduced country specific risk and enhanced customer benefits.

Commenting on the transaction, FirstBank CEO Bisi Onasanya said the acquisition of ICBGFH assets in Ghana, Guinea, Gambia and Sierra Leone fulfils the first stage of their ambitions to steadily build a broader and more diverse footprint across Africa.

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"We are committed to developing a multi-local business model that broadens our geographic revenue base while providing enhanced service delivery to our new customers.

"By leveraging the transfer of FirstBank’s, expertise and execution capabilities, supported by the Bank’s robust risk management and corporate governance policies, there is a strong opportunity for an appreciable rise in the combined entity’s asset turnover over time while net revenue synergies are set to improve profit margins," Onasanya added.