Chanakira exits Kingdom

HARARE - Prominent banker and entrepreneur Nigel Chanakira has sold his 30 percent stake in AfrAsia Kingdom Zimbabwe Limited (AKZL) to Mauritius-based AfrAsia Bank Limited (AfrAsia) in an equity swap deal.

As part of the deal, AKZL will in turn sell its remaining interest in the Botswana-based offshore bank, Kingdom Bank Africa Limited (KBAL,) to Chanakira’s family investment vehicle — Crustmoon Investments.

The restructuring, when completed, will result in Crustmoon completely exiting AKZL and in the transfer of the group's 35,7 percent interest in KBAL.

Chanakira will also step down as director of all AKZL entities with immediate effect.

He will, however, acquire the Kingdom Trademark from AKZL.

AfrAsia was launched in 2007 and the main shareholder is Groupe Mon Loisir (GML) while regional strategic partners include Dale Capital Group of South Africa, Intrasia Capital of Singapore and PROPARCO, a subsidiary of the French Development Agency.

Chanakira — who co-founded the financial institution about 20 years ago — said he was persuaded by new and emerging opportunities that have been created in the financial services sector to pursue interests outside AfrAsia.

“I have particularly been delighted to have been part of this group which has and continues to be a respected player in the financial sector in Zimbabwe.

However, in life sometimes one is confronted with major decisions that shape your future, and for me, this is that one moment,” he said.

Chanakira said he is comforted by the fact that he is leaving the group in good hands and with a solid shareholder who has the same vision he had when he founded Kingdom.

“I will remain invested in the financial services sector through Botswana-based Kingdom Bank Africa Limited and will be exploring opportunities in Zimbabwe and the region,” said Chanakira.

In 2007 AKZL — then known as Kingdom Financial Holdings Limited — merged with Meikles, Tanganda and Cotton Printers to form Kingdom Meikles Limited, then one of the largest capitalised companies listed on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange.

However, irreconcilable differences between founding chairman Moxon and Chanakira led to the proposed end of the marriage after months of acrimonious squabbling in both the private and public spheres James Benoit, the chief executive of AfrAsia said following the acquisition of the Chanakira stake in the group, the group will soon lead a $20 million rights issue as a way of providing additional liquidity support to AKZL and Kingdom Bank Limited.

AKZL will be immediately rebranded to AfrAsia Zimbabwe Holdings Limited while Kingdom Bank Limited would now be known as AfrAsia Bank Limited.

Kingdom Asset Management (Pvt) Limited would be rebranded to AfrAsia Capital Management (Pvt) Limited.

Benoit noted that there is also going to be a restructuring of the board and management of AKZL and KBL.

“The restructuring and recapitalisation of AKZL is confirmation of our commitment to Zimbabwe and our belief in its recovery potential and the key role that it can play in regional development going forward,” he said.

Benoit noted that Kingdom Bank under AKZL already represents one of the best banking franchises in the country.

“We are committed to further developing it into the top bank in Zimbabwe, which we are confident that we can do given that we now expect a more stable business environment going forward,” he said.

Benoit said with AfrAsia’s growing presence in the region and the increased volume of trade and investments going into Zimbabwe, the exercise further demonstrates AfrAsia’s commitment to tap into the African market and be instrumental in their plans to further identify and enhance the untapped synergies in the region.

“Chanakira has played a pivotal role in the development of our franchise in Zimbabwe and has been instrumental in developing the plans for the restructuring that is now underway. We are deeply grateful to him for his efforts in this regard and look forward to a continued relationship with Chanakira in his new endeavours,” he said.

Benoit said he was satisfied with the outcome of this restructuring exercise and confident AfrAsia will now take up the banking, microfinance and asset management businesses to new heights both in Zimbabwe and the region for the benefit of customers and the industry.

Comments (1)

you know better brother,wish you success in your business

Johannes Kwangwari - 9 September 2013

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