LONDON, June 13 Former Barclays chief
executive Bob Diamond is set to fall short of his target to
raise another $400 million for his African banking venture Atlas
Mara, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
Diamond, who spearheaded the growth of Barclays' investment
bank before being forced out as CEO in 2012 by UK regulators
after the bank was fined for attempted rigging of Libor interest
rates, plans to increase the war chest of his Atlas Mara vehicle
to pursue more African acquisitions and grow the business
But some investors have balked at the fundraising so soon
after it raised $325 million in its initial public offering in
December, mainly due to concern about the illiquid nature of
Atlas Mara shares, the source said.
That is likely to see it fall short of the $400 million
target, although the fundraising will not close until later this
month, he said. The source said Diamond had received strong
support from the current shareholder base.
The Financial Times, which first reported the fundraising
shortfall, said other investors which had not participated in
the current fundraising said Diamond had demonstrated his M&A
ability but had yet to show he could make money running a bank
Diamond has teamed up with Africa-based entrepreneur Ashish
Thakkar to set up Atlas Mara, with the intention of building it
into Africa's leading financial services firm and putting him in
potential competition with Barclays, which has pinpointed Africa
as one of its main areas to grow.
Atlas Mara bought BancABC in March to give it a platform in
several countries including Botswana, Mozambique and Tanzania,
and the source said its strategy and acquisition plans to
broaden and deepen its African footprint was unaffected by the
Atlas Mara shares were suspended after its purchase of
BancABC was treated as a reverse takeover, and are expected to
relist before the end of July.
(Reporting by Steve Slater; Editing by Alexander Smith and Mark