Atlas Mara completes BancABC, ADC acquisitions

HARARE - Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited (Atlas Mara) says it has completed the acquisitions of ABC Holdings Limited (BancABC) and ADC African Development Corporation AG (ADC).

“With the successful completion of these acquisitions, Atlas Mara is now a fully operational entity and able to continue to execute its strategy of becoming Sub-Saharan Africa’s premier financial institution,” the company said.

Following the completion of the transactions Atlas Mara now holds a beneficial interest of 95,84 percent in BancABC, which represents a 58,09 percent direct interest and a 37,75 percent indirect interest through ADC.

In April this year, Atlas Mara — founded by Bob Diamond and billionaire Ashish Thakkar — announced its intention to acquire the pan-African banking group.

The satisfaction of the conditions corresponds with Atlas Mara’s previous announcement that the closing date of direct agreements for BancABC would be done by August.

Diamond, also the company’s director said he was delighted that they were coming back to the London Stock Exchange in such a strong position.

The company’s ordinary shares and warrants were temporarily suspended from trading on April 1, 2014 when it announced its intention to acquire a majority of BancABC and make a voluntary public offer to acquire 100 percent of ADC.

“We have in place one of the strongest management teams I have seen in an African financial institution and, with BancABC…they have excellent assets to develop.

“They are already working on identifying where we can add value and are the right team to ensure that the banks deliver the service corporates, SMEs and retail customers require,” said Diamond on the company’s future prospects.

After the acquisition, Atlas Mara announced the appointment of John Vitalo, former Barclays MENA and ABSA Capital executive as its chief executive.

Going forward, the company said it has engaged as consultants a number of individuals with exceptional investment and management experience in Africa and the list includes Doug Munatsi, the current chief executive of BancABC.

BancABC, which has banking operations in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana and Tanzania will be boosted by the acquisition considering Atlas Mara’s large capital base.

Vitalo said the company is working “to ensure that we can provide access to capital, liquidity and funding that has been lacking from so much of African banking in recent years.”

Atlas Mara said it has further strengthened its capital position to support future growth following its $325 million Initial Public Offer in December 2013.

The company also obtained access to additional equity capital of $300 million from the private placement of ordinary shares announced in May 2014, which it will settle upon readmission.

As the company push to execute its strategy to become sub-Saharan Africa’s premier financial services institution, it said it has access to debt facilities of up to $200 million, which will support future growth, subject to certain customary conditions.

The terms and conditions of the facility will be agreed upon at the time the company requests borrowing under the facility, Atlas Mara said.

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