A smooth takeover of a local bank by a foreign bank through effective stakeholder engagement and reputation management
About Client / Project

One of the largest banks in the Eastern Caribbean, with branches in Grenada, Guyana, Barbados, and offshore banking operations registered in the Cayman Islands.

Problem / Opportunity

Client faced a number of issues pertaining to its intended purchase of a Ghanaian Bank. In order to provide a mandatory offer to all shareholders under the Takeover Code of the Ghana Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Bank needed to manage its relationship with various governmental and regulatory agencies. Media relations were also neccessary, in order to ensure that the organisation’s reputation was not damaged due to misconceptions and misrepresentations about its intended purchase.

Creative Solution / Strategies Used

Stratcomm Africa’s initial strategies involved introduction of the Bank to the relevant stakeholders and the country as a whole. In a bid to aid the Bank’s interactions, Stratcomm Africa went beyond communicating with clients’s expected stakeholders, dedicating efforts to educating relevant staff of client involved in the purchase arrangement about Ghana and the cultural framework within which Ghanaians operate. This training provided said the most effective ways of getting the message across various levels of stakeholders.

As there were certain legal matters which also came up before the High Court and the Supreme Court of Ghana, Stratcomm Africa had to ensure clear understanding of the legal issues and processes among media personnel. Recognising the importance of improved public knowledge about such transactions to the development of the country, Stratcomm Africa also employed an approach that contributed to the education of the Ghanaian public about mergers and acquisitions.

Conscious of the fact that communication about the transaction went beyond Ghana, Stratcomm Africa took into account the communication needs of stakeholders in client’s home country and beyond. Indeed, in developing the communications plan, we acknowledged the fact that international investors would see this situation as a test case for objective application of the laws and regulations applicable to an investor in a company listed on the Ghana Stock Exchange.

Stratcomm Africa developed a communications strategy/ plan that encompassed internal communication, cross-cultural orientation, and systematic communication processes which ensured that the truth about client and the transaction was widely and systematically communicated. Managing relations with existing Ghanaian shareholders in the Ghanaian bank was also an important focus of the communication strategy. We also ensured our public relations strategy involved elements of public education, knowledge creation and advocacy in order to create the right disposition toward client and the transaction it was undertaking among various stakeholders for a successful outcome, not only of the specific transaction but also of client’s investments in Ghana.

Outcome / Impact

Stratcomm Africa’s work resulted in a positive outcome, as client succeeded in acquiring a majority stake in the local bank and establishing a strong reputation in Ghana. Client is now able to introduce innovative products that will expand and diversify the product portfolio of local bank. The ensuing growth of the local bank will not only benefit shareholders of the bank but also members of the public, while contributing to the development of the Ghanaian economy.

Stratcomm Africa’s work for client was not only implemented to positively impact the reputation of client, but as a Ghanaian company Stratcomm Africa saw the importance of using this situation to project the credibility of Ghana’s legal system and safeguard the country’s position as an ideal investment destination for foreign investors. Extensive knowledge creation about mergers and acquisitions among Ghanaian media was also achieved. We were also pleased that our work for client earned recognition at the 2014 Institute of Public Relations Awards as the PR Consultancy of the Year.