Atlas plans €150m BancABC bond

HARARE – London listed Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited (Atlas Mara) plans to float a €150 million bond after concluding takeover of ABC Holdings (ABCH).

The facility – to be availed through ABCH’s retail banking unit BancABC – is expected to enhance Zimbabwean banks’ long term lending capacity.

“As soon as we complete this transaction (ABCH takeover)… and if investors are sure of what the actual ownership structure is going to be and having cleared all the other regulatory issues, we are good to go,” said ABCH’s chief executive Douglas Munatsi.

He said the “appetite for the bond is strong”.

“…it gives a very good indication of the confidence that the market has of what we have been doing and what we are about to start,” Munatsi said.

Atlas Mara — co-founded by former Barclays Plc’s chief executive Robert Diamond and Africa’s youngest millionaire Ashish Thakkar — is set to acquire ABCH and its major shareholder African Development Corporation (ADC) in a $265 million cash and shares deal.

Under the transaction, Atlas Mara will acquire BancABC’s shares in excess of 50,1 percent of total shares outstanding for $0,82 per share or the equivalent in the former’s shares.

Its objective is to build a premier sub-Saharan financial services group.

It also intends to make a public share-for-share takeover offer for ADC’s 37 percent stake at an exchange ratio of 1,25 times Atlas Mara shares per ADC share.

This translates to an 88 percent shareholding after which the remaining 12 percent of BancABC shares will be acquired in a mandatory offer to minority shareholders at a price of $0,82 per share or the Atlas Mara share equivalent.

The investments holding company expects to fund the acquisition via proceeds of its previously-completed initial public offer, which raised $325 million, and the issuance of shares.

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