Atlas Mara ups stake in BancABC

BOB Diamond’s co-founded Atlas Mara has increased its shareholding in ABC Holdings (ABCH) to 98,7% failing to wholly owning the banking group following the closure of its mandatory offer to minority shareholders.

BUSINESS REPORTER

In September, Atlas Mara— co-founded by Diamond and billionaire entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar — made a mandatory offer to minority shareholders of ABCH constituting 4,2%. This came after Atlas Mara had acquired 95,5% in the banking group with operations in Zimbabwe, Botswana, Zambia, Mozambique and Tanzania under the BancABC brand.

Atlas Mara offered $0,82 per share or swap one ABCH share for 0,0683 Atlas Mara share.

In a notice on Monday, Atlas Mara said at the closure of the mandatory offer on November 7, 7 040 997 shares in BancABC, which represent an additional 2,74% of BancABC’s current share capital, had been tendered.

182 819 of the tendered shares were received on November 14, it said.

“Atlas Mara’s total ownership of BancABC now stands at 98,7%,” it said.

The increase in Atlas Mara’s stake in BancABC comes as Atlas Mara remains optimistic in the prospects of financial services growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. It says it has the ability to establish an institution which, through a combination of experience, operational expertise and access to capital, liquidity and funding, can become a leader in the sector.

“2014 will represent an acquisitions and integration-oriented year. The expansion of Atlas Mara’s executive leadership enables the company to drive operational efficiencies, improve the control and governance environments and address shortcomings in the credit processes in order to position the company for future growth,” Atlas Mara said in an interim management statement published yesterday.

“With respect to BancABC, Atlas Mara’s conviction in the attractiveness of the platform, its underlying value and potential for delivering sustainable growth remains unchanged, notwithstanding current headwinds facing the business.”

Atlas Mara said it was looking forward to work constructively with the management team and other shareholders to effect further value creation in United Bank of Nigeria (UBN). It recently upped its stake in UBN to 29,9%.

“The recent strides made by UBN, particularly in relation to credit growth, are encouraging,” it said.

It said it would continue to “execute its plans for safeguarding, integrating and growing its operating businesses while also continuing to evaluate acquisition opportunities in its existing, as well as other, attractive Sub-Saharan African markets”.

Meanwhile, Dirk Harbecke has stepped down as chief executive of African Development Corporation (ADC) following the takeover of the group by Atlas Mara in August.

“After the takeover of ADC by Atlas Mara, the company is in great hands to continue the vision of creating a leading pan-African banking group under new leadership,” Harbecke said.

Diamond said: “Dirk and his team built a unique platform with ADC. I would like to thank him for the trust he showed in Atlas Mara and his support for the take-over offer that lead to an acceptance by more than 95% of ADC’s shareholders.”

1 Comment

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