Competition Authority of Kenya has come to the rescue of National Bank of Kenya employees who were at the brink of losing their employment over the merger with Kenya Commercial Bank. The regulator has ordered KCB Group to retain at least 90 percent of the employees it will have once it completes its buyout of NBK with the jobs protection to last for one-and-a-half years.
“In order to strike a balance between addressing the public interest concerns and accommodating the strategic intent of the merging parties, the Authority was of the view that granting conditional approval to the proposed transaction would be appropriate,” said the regulator said in a statement.
This job protection order by the competition authority of Kenya in the KCB-NBK merger offers the majority of the NBK employees a temporary reprieve, as they get adjusted to the new system. According to the regulator, KCB has 4,835 employees in Kenya while NBK’s workforce is currently at 1,356. Despite the order by the regulator, KCB can still fire 10 percent of the total staff count from NBK, if it sees fit.
The acquisition is part of KCB’s ongoing strategy to explore opportunities for new growth while investing in and maximizing the returns from the Groups existing businesses. It is anticipated that upon acquisition, NBK will continue to operate as a subsidiary of KCB Group for a maximum period of two years.
KCB seeks to create East Africa’s first Ksh.1 trillion valued bank in a quest for consolidation and regional expansion and is expected to disclose the offer results on September 13 ahead of the accreditation and listing of the transferred shares at the end of September.