Atlas Mara disposes 10pc stake in Brainworks

HARARE - Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited (Atlas Mara) on Wednesday disposed its 10,1 percent stake in Zimbabwe-focused private equity and advisory firm Brainworks Capital Management Limited (Brainworks) valued at $8,72 million.

In a statement, the company said the deal was “consistent” with its focus on sub-Saharan African banking operations and strategy of selling non-core investments acquired in connection with its acquisition of ADC African Development Corporation (ADC).

The deal netted Atlas Mara 1,4 times Brainworks’ reported book value.

“ADC Financial Services and Corporate Development (ADCFS), an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas Mara, has entered into an agreement with a third party whereby ADCFS has agreed to sell its Brainworks stake in exchange for approximately $3,1 million in cash and 665,195 Atlas Mara ordinary shares,” the group said.

Atlas Mara added that the implied price per share of $8,46 was determined based on the 90-day volume weighted average price as at the date initial transaction terms had been agreed by the parties.

“The transaction is subject to selected closing conditions and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2015,” the group said. This comes as in August last year, Atlas Mara — founded by Bob Diamond and billionaire Ashish Thakkar in 2013,acquired a majority stake in pan-African banking group ABC Holdings(ABCH).

Following the completion of the transactions Atlas Mara 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.

The group also announced it was going to be delisted from the Botswana and Zimbabwe bourses after the acquisition.

The completion of the deal by Atlas Mara to increase its stake in ABCH comes as the investment firm remains optimistic in the prospects of financial services growth in sub-Saharan Africa.

It said 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.

Atlas Mara was born out of a combination of Diamond’s Atlas Merchant Capital LLC and African entrepreneur Thakkar’s Mara Group Holdings Limited.

Former Barclays PLC chief executive Diamond is looking to take his former bank’s strategy of focusing on expanding African operations with acquisitions spread across the continent.

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