BOB Diamond’s co-founded Atlas Mara has received a boost in its quest for a premier sub-Saharan financial services group after over 95% of African Development Corporation (ADC) shareholders agreed to a share-for-share swap.
Last month, Atlas Mara offered five ordinary shares for four shares of ADC, the 38% shareholder in pan-African banking group BancABC, as it begins a journey to build a strong financial services group on the continent.
In a notice yesterday, ADC said 9 010 130 of its shares had been tendered, corresponding to 95,17% of the share capital and voting rights of the company.
ADC founder and chief executive officer Dirk Harbecke said the company was “excited to join the Atlas Mara Group and to combine ADC’s existing portfolio and established banking platform with Atlas Mara’s strengths in order to realise our joint strategic objective of building the premier sub-Saharan financial services group”.
“The extremely high uptake of the offer confirms that our shareholders follow our vision and have huge confidence in Atlas Mara’s and ADC’s abilities to build strong, innovative and highly profitable financial institutions. We look forward to working with the Atlas Mara team to build the future of banking in Africa,” he said.
In April, Atlas Mara — co-founded by ex-Barclays Plc chief executive Diamond and billionaire Ashish Thakkar — announced that it would buy a 50,1% shareholding in ABC Holdings, the parent company of BancABC.
BancABC has banking operations in Zimbabwe, Zambia,Botswana, Mozambique and Tanzania.
Atlas Mara also made a voluntary offer to acquire a majority stake in ADC bringing total ownership in BancABC up to 88% and a subsequent mandatory offer for the remaining 12% stake in BancABC.
Other than shareholding in BancABC, ADC has a 3,9% indirect shareholding in Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN).
The equity in UBN is held in a private equity consortium controlling 65% of the bank.
It also has a 49% stake in electronic payment solutions and services provider in South Africa, evriPay, and 38,7% shareholding in Resolution Health, a health insurance provider in Kenya.
ADC also has a 19,1% shareholding in Brainworks Capital, a Zimbabwean investment firm primarily investing in the financial, mining, energy, hospitality and real estate sectors.
Atlas Mara wants to build a strong presence on the African continent that has potential for growth.
In December, Atlas Mara raised $325 million to finance acquisitions on the continent.
Last month, the group announced that it had secured
$300 million from a recent private placement and a commitment agreement for a debt facility of up to $200 million to finance its pan-African drive.