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Banking: Vista Group Inks Deal to Become Majority Shareholder in Oragroup

Friday, 18 August 2023 05:20
Banking: Vista Group Inks Deal to Become Majority Shareholder in Oragroup

(Ecofin Agency) - Vista Group eyes a 61.4% stake in Oragroup through a deal with Emerging Capital Partners. If the latter comes through, Vista would expand to 12 countries. The deal is backed by a $41.2 million loan obtained from the BOAD in March 2023. 

Vista Group could become the majority shareholder in Oragroup with a 61.4% stake. The holding company recently inked an agreement in this framework with a consortium of private investors led by Emerging Capital Partners. The news was disclosed in a statement released last Thursday. 

If approved by regulatory authorities, the deal would enable Vista to expand its banking footprint in 12 more countries. The company's ambition following this deal is to form a major banking group with Oragroup–present in 16 countries and having a total asset value of $10 billion.

Although the deal’s amount is unknown at the moment, it is known that it is backed by a $41.2 million credit granted by the West African Development Bank (BOAD) on March 30, 2023.

The consortium of investors with whom Vista signed the agreement regroups Emerging Capital Partners, DEG (a German private-sector financing institution), BIO (Belgian equivalent), and Proparco (French equivalent). This consortium had been seeking to divest its stake in Oragroup for years but without success. Back in 2018, for example, the consortium received an offer from Egypt's Beltone Financial in 2018 and an attempted acquisition by the Côte d'Ivoire General Retirement Fund (IPS-CGRAE) in 2020.

The announcement of the agreement with Emerging Capital Partners comes as Vista Group is also facing opposition regarding the acquisition of Société Générale's subsidiaries in the Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea.

Becoming the majority shareholder in Oragroup would reinforce Vista's position in the African banking sector and significantly contribute to its growth ambitions across the continent. However, regulatory approval remains a key hurdle, and past attempts show that it can be a major obstacle to overcome. The vigilance of West African banking regulatory authorities underscores the importance of compliance and governance in the region's banking and financial operations.

Vista Group has not publicly commented on the deal as of the publication of this article, and representatives from Oragroup and the investor consortium could not be immediately reached for comment.



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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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