Barclays Bank has announced that it has reached an agreement in principle for the acquisition of Nile Bank. A statement issued from Barclays Bank this morning says it will buy 100% of the share capital of Nile Bank. The acquisition will lead to Barclays and Nile Bank combining their distribution network, customer base and know-how to establish a leading position in the market and to drive further business growth. Barclays expects the transaction to be complete during the first quarter of 2007. However this is subject to finalization of confirmatory due diligence and documentation and to receipt of regulatory approval. Nile Bank is the seventh largest commercial bank in Uganda with 18 branches, 228 employees and a strong retail customer base. At the end of 2005 Nile Bank had assets of 134 billion shillings and revenues of 18 billion shillings. The combined Barclays and Nile Bank operations will comprise 25 branches and around 400 employees. Commenting on the transaction, Nick Mbuvi, Managing Director of Barclays Bank of Uganda said Nile Bank's domestic banking expertise in Uganda and strong expertise in the small and medium-sized business sector will enable Barclays to strengthen and expand its presence in Uganda. He said Nile Bank's local industry experience will be crucial to developing this business. Richard Byarugaba, Managing Director of Nile Bank, Uganda, said he is confident that Barclays is well positioned to build upon the strength of the business. He said Barclays global reach, scale and widely recognized brand makes it the ideal choice for Nile Bank. Nile Bank is the third local bank to be bought by an international bank in recent years. In 1996 Banque Belgolaise of Belgium and the Netherlands Development Finance Company bought into Allied Bank International Uganda, giving it full European parentage. However in October this year Bank of Africa-Kenya, Aureos East Africa Fund LLC and Central Holdings acquired 77.88 percent equity from Banque Belgolaise in Allied Bank. The Netherlands Development Finance Company, an international AAA rated company that has held 22.18 per cent of the bank's shares continues to retain the same proportion of ownership. In February 2002 Stanbic Bank bought 90% shares of Uganda Commercial Bank ending a lengthy war to privatize the national bank.