Atlas Mara plans $100m ABCH capitalisation

HARARE - Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited (Atlas Mara) plans to inject $100 million into pan-African banking group ABC Holdings (ABCH)'s three major subsidiaries.

ABCH’s chief executive, Douglas Munatsi, said the funds will boost capital levels of the group’s Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe units.

“Atlas Mara has committed an additional $100 million into the group and our plan at the moment is utilize that to raise the capital levels of our three largest subsidiaries, “he said at an analysts briefing on Wednesday.

“We have already complied in Zambia and our plan is to raise Zimbabwe and Botswana’s (units) capital to $100 million as well,” he said, adding that the group also intended to raise the capital levels of its other subsidiaries to $50 million each.

ABCH’s banking arm, BancABC, also operates in Mozambique and Tanzania.

This comes as Atlas Mara – founded by former Barclays Plc boss Bob Diamond and Africa’s youngest billionaire Ashish Thakkar – is set to acquire the remaining 4,2 percent of ABCH to conclude takeover of the financial group.

Recently, Atlas Mara completed acquisition of a 95,8 percent stake in ABCH.

Munatsi said Atlas Mara had already raised about $800 million for the expansion of existing businesses.

“At the time that Atlas Mara registered on the London Stock Exchange they raised about $325 million.”

“In the last couple of months, while the deal process was in motion, they raised about $300 million of ordinary equity and an additional $200 million in debt, so altogether they have raised about $800 million, all of which is intended to bolster the size of existing business which will include us and BRD (Rwanda),” he said.

He added: “The plan now is that for the balance of about 4,2 percent, there is going to be an offer that will open very soon,” he said.

Munatsi said after the offer, which will see Atlas Mara owning 100 percent of ABCH, the latter would consequently delist from the Botswana and Zimbabwe stock exchanges.

He said regulatory approvals had been obtained including compliance with Zimbabwe’s indigenisation policy, which compels foreigners to cede majority shareholding to black Zimbabweans.

“As part of the approvals, Atlas Mara had to sell between 30-40 percent of BancABC to Zimbabwean investors,” he said.

The 4,2 percent set to be acquired by Atlas Mara is mainly held by the bank’s employees through a staff purchase scheme.

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