Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Group, the UK’s development finance institution, has announced its decision to sell its remaining 9.97% stake in dfcu bank. The shareholding is being sold to IFU, the Danish development finance institution.
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Danish Firm acquires 9.97% stake in Uganda’s DFCU Bank

Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Group, the UK’s development finance institution, has announced its decision to sell its remaining 9.97% stake in dfcu bank. The shareholding is being sold to IFU, the Danish development finance institution.

CDC made its first investment in DFCU in 1964 as a founding partner to the bank and has played an integral role in its long-term growth over the last six decades, through a number of equity and debt funding rounds.

In that period DFCU has grown to become a major player in the Ugandan banking sector, a champion of SMEs and a committed supporter of financial inclusion and female entrepreneurship through a Women in Business programme created by CDC.

CDC’s Chief Executive, Nick O’Donohoe said their partnership with DFCU has perfectly demonstrated their credentials as a provider of patient capital.

“And I am delighted that in IFU, we are passing the baton to a like-minded investor that, alongside Arise, the largest existing shareholder in DFCU, will be as equally committed to DFCU’s long-term stability and success,” said O’Donohoe.

“DFCU is now a stalwart of the Ugandan economy so we felt it was the appropriate time to deploy our capital elsewhere.

“Uganda is an incredibly important country for CDC and we look forward to the opportunity to reinvest the proceeds from the sale of our DFCU stake into other businesses here,” he added.

CDC has been reducing its stake in DFCU over the last six years – from 60% to 15% in 2013 and then to just under 10% in 2017 following a rights issue at the bank.

IFU´s Chief Executive Officer, Torben Huss said they are pleased to become a shareholder in DFCU as they share the ambition to expand access to financial services, which will lead to productive investments, the creation of decent jobs and improve people’s welfare.

“Moreover, we see this acquisition as a strategic step to increase our engagement in the private sector in Uganda and further promote the Sustainable Development Goals.”

Elly Karuhanga, the Board Chairman of DFCU Limited expressed their appreciation to CDC for the support throughout the last 55 years.

“dfcu has made a significant contribution to the economic development and transformation of Uganda, over the last 55 years because of among others – our strong shareholders.

“With IFU as one of the shareholders, we are confident that dfcu is well on track to achieving its vision of being the preferred financial institution in Uganda. We take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to CDC who have walked this journey with us since 1964. Their commitment and support over the last 55 years have enabled us to make real tangible progress towards the achievement of our vision. We look forward to continued collaboration with CDC in other areas in the future.”

Ever since its first investment in Uganda in 1949, CDC has been a committed supporter of the country’s private sector and will remain so after its exit from DFCU.

CDC is actively looking for new investment opportunities in the country to build upon its US$120 million portfolio of 35 businesses.

Those business backed by CDC’s capital – which includes Bujagali Hydropower – have an important impact on the country’s economy, supporting almost 3000 direct jobs and paying US$7.4 million in taxes to the Ugandan exchequer last year.

Paul Bwiso, the Chief Executive Officer of Uganda Securities Exchange said that this is a remarkable day in the history of dfcu bank and it has that it has raised its capital on the Capital markets, he also mentioned the impact of this transaction on the stock exchange.

“Today is a remarkable day, we’ve come to honour an institution that has been investing in the country for over 55 years, CDC has created opportunities to the economy for companies to be able to raise capital, DFCU is now making 15 years on the stock exchange which is a remarkable milestone. We’ve seen them grow from a simple humble company to now a large firm.”

“It utilised the capital markets in terms of raising capital, supported the exchange and also supported institutions by providing adjustment avenues for asset plus that has enabled investors to participate.”

Impact on the stock exchange.

“Prior to this transaction, DFCU has traded USh1.4 Billion yearly to date. With this transaction that has seen it grows to USh 49.5 Billion, so the impact means that we move from USh 75 Billion in trading turnover to USh125 Billion yearly to date which shows the remarkable impact institutions play when they come into the markets and also creates an opportunity for the market to be built and recognized globally,” Bwiso noted.

BY FRANK SEMATA