March 31 Bob Diamond-backed investment company
Atlas Mara, said it would acquire sub-Saharan African
bank ABC Holdings Limited (BancABC) and ADC African Development
Corporation AG, for up to $265 million in cash and
The acquisition comes as a first for former Barclay's boss
Diamond, who was ousted from Barclays last year when the bank
was fined $450 million for alleged manipulation of the Libor
interbank lending rate.
Atlas Mara, Diamond's London-listed shell company, said it
would acquire BancABC's shares in excess of 50.1 percent of
total shares outstanding for $0.82 per share or the equivalent
in Atlas Mara shares.
The company also said it intends to make a public
share-for-share takeover offer for ADC at an exchange ratio of
1.25 times Atlas Mara shares per ADC share.
Atlas Mara said it expects to fund the acquisition via
proceeds of its previously completed IPO and the issuance of
Diamond raised $325 million by Atlas Mara's London Stock
Exchange listing in December, with Africa-focused
billionaire entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar.
Atlas Mara is formed of Atlas Merchant Capital LLC, set up
by Diamond in New York, and Ashish Thakkar's Mara Group Holdings
BancABC has been providing financial services in Botswana,
Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe since the last 58
years. ADC is also an Africa-focused banking group with an
indirect 47.1 percent stake in BancABC.
The scope for growth in Africa is significant. Barely a
quarter of sub-Saharan Africans have a bank account, yet
economic growth in the region is set to outpace the global
average over the next three years, according to World Bank last
"Our objective is to build Africa's premier financial
services group leveraging the access to capital, liquidity and
funding that we at Atlas Mara can provide," Bob Diamond,
director and co-founder of Atlas Mara said on Monday.
Atlas Mara said its shares would be delisted from the LSE
with immediate effect until the acquisition is completed post
which it would seek re-admission to the exchange.
(Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Bernard