National Bank of Canada Buys an Equity Stake in the African Financial Group NSIA

National Bank of Canada (“National Bank”) today announced that it is purchasing a stake in NSIA Participations (“NSIA”), a financial group headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, with operations in 12 countries across West and Central Africa.

With this transaction, National Bank and Amethis Africa Finance (“Amethis Finance”) acquire the equity stake held by private equity fund ECP Africa Fund III PCC in NSIA. National Bank will have a 20.9% interest, while that of Amethis Finance will be 5.4%. This deal should be concluded in the third quarter of 2015, subject to customary closing conditions and receipt of regulatory approvals.

NSIA is a major financial services group providing a wide range of banking and insurance products and services to individual and business clients. NSIA is the leading insurance group in French-speaking Africa and the third largest banking institution in Côte d’Ivoire. It has 25 subsidiaries, 58 bank branches, 42 insurance agencies and assets totalling more than 1.2 billion euros.

“NSIA has an impressive track record, thanks to the leadership of its founder, Jean Kacou Diagou, and its sound business vision,” stated Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank. “We are confident that the expertise of NSIA, combined with the skills and business network of Amethis Finance in Africa, will be a distinctive source of value creation for National Bank.”

“We are very pleased to partner with National Bank of Canada, and we are fully supportive of its development project for Africa, its financial strength and ethical and governance requirements. This partnership is a long-term alliance intended to create value for both of our institutions as well as promote economic development in Africa. The participation of Amethis Finance, an investment vehicle specialized in Africa, is an additional asset for NSIA,” said Jean Kacou Diagou, President of NSIA.

This investment is aligned with National Bank’s strategy of expanding its international presence through targeted equity acquisitions. To do so, it identifies geographic markets offering attractive long-term growth potential and invests, in a disciplined manner, in well-established institutions so as to jointly build a strong regional presence. In recent months, the Bank has acquired interests in institutions located in Cambodia (Asia) and Mauritius (Africa).

West and Central Africa remain under-served in terms of financial services and have strong growth potential, with a population of more than 490 million inhabitants. In addition to having a large pool of companies with whom Canada can strengthen business ties, the region is predominantly French speaking, which gives National Bank a competitive advantage.

Leave a Comment