(Not Quite) A Bank Merger

Commercial bank of Africa, the No. 3 Bank in Kenya took over First American Bank, the No. 12 in a deal announced this week.

It’s not quite a merger, but more a realignment of business divisions since the two banks have a common shareholding among prominent wealthy families in Kenya and the deal will consolidate the shareholding of the two banks in one entity. Both the Jomo Kenyatta and the Naushad Merali families have a substantial interest in the two banks.

Merali owns a 14 per cent minority stake in CBA and bought out First American Bank of Kenya from First Bank of Chicago in 1987, in addition, to also owning Equatorial Commercial Bank through his Sameer Group which is ranked No. 17.

(Rankings from the Market Intelligence 2003 Banking Survey)