Kenya-based lender NIC Bank has secured shareholder approval for its merger with domestic peer Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).

The approval will enable the two banks to advance with the merger, which was announced earlier this year.

The NIC-CBA merger will be carried out through share swap. Once completed, CBA shareholders will own 53% in the combined company.

The combined entity will have nearly $4.4bn in assets and 41 million customers.

NIC chairman James Ndegwa said: “I’m delighted that our shareholders share our vision and have overwhelmingly supported this important merger that will create a leading Tier 1 bank.

“The endorsement paves the way for completion of the merger that will deliver significant benefits to the Group stakeholders.”

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The deal has already been approved by CBA shareholders.

The merged entity is expected to adopt a new brand name, which will be announced in due course.

The NIC shareholders also approved a special resolution that will enable NIC board to finalise the new brand.

Ndegwa added: “Whilst a new name is yet to be selected, both NIC and CBA are jointly working with external brand consultants to identify a name that will reflect the identity, values and aspirations of the new merged entity.”

The NIC-CBA merger is expected to conclude in the third quarter of this year. The completion is subject to approval of the regulatory authorities including Central Bank of Kenya, Capital Markets Authority and Competition Authority.

The combination also requires additional approvals from the regulators in other countries where the two banks operate.