Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) is is set to acquire defunct Imperial Bank, after its competitor, State Bank of Mauritius (SBM) pulled out.

The bank was put under receivership in October 2015 after it emerged that it was operating two sets of books, with a potential fraud of $449 million (Ksh44.9 billion).

Consequently, in October last year, Central Bank communicated to shortlisted candidates believed to be KCB and the Mauritius lender, SMB Holdings , requesting them to submit their formal proposals by January 15 2018.

“The revised proposal was received from KCB Bank Kenya while the other bidder has withdrawn from the process. CBK and KDIC will engage KCB in discussions aimed at maximizing value for depositors,’’ a joint statement from CBK and Kenya Deposit Insurance Corporation read.

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This is good news to depositors whose funds have been locked since the bank was placed under receivership.

Shareholders were accused for irregularly paying themselves $27 million (Ksh2.7 billion) as dividends when the bank was not making any profit.

CBK is however behind its schedule for the acquisition of the bank, considering that it had anticipated final transaction to take place by end of June.

It had slated negotiations with the final investor and finalisation of legal documents for a week between April 16-20 to aid final transaction that will be on or before June 29.

If KCB manages to successfully acquire Imperial Bank, it will bring to two the number of banks wounded up by CBK in a year after it gave SMB Holdings a nod to takeover Chase Bank last month.

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