* Raised $300 million from share placement
* Acquisitions were completed last week
* Shares to recommence trading on Wednesday
By Matt Scuffham and Steve Slater
LONDON, Aug 26 Atlas Mara, the
investment vehicle of former Barclays boss Bob Diamond
that is aiming to be Africa's leading bank, will re-list on
Wednesday after raising $300 million and completing a pair of
Atlas Mara said last week that it had closed deals to
purchase BancABC and ADC African Development Corporation and
would apply for the re-admission of its shares, which were
suspended when the deals were announced in April.
It said on Tuesday that trading in the shares on the London
Stock Exchange would restart on Wednesday at 0700 GMT.
Diamond teamed up with Africa-based entrepreneur Ashish
Thakkar last year to set up Atlas Mara, a vehicle through which
they planned to buy up assets to help build it into a powerful
force in African banking.
Atlas Mara last week said it had raised $300 million from a
private share placement to fund the acquisitions, on top of the
$325 million from its initial public offering (IPO) in December.
It agreed to buy BancABC in March to give it a platform in
several countries including Botswana, Mozambique and Tanzania.
Atlas Mara shares were suspended after its purchase of
BancABC was treated as a reverse takeover. The company should
have a market value of near $800 million when it re-lists. The
shares last traded at $11.40, up from their December IPO price
American Diamond, 62, is one of the world's best-known
bankers after spearheading the growth of Barclays' investment
bank before being forced out from his job as CEO in 2012 by UK
regulators after the bank was fined for attempted rigging of
Libor interest rates.
His plans in Africa could put him in direct competition with
Barclays, which has had a presence there since 1925 and is one
of the biggest international banks on the continent.
Barclays Chief Executive Antony Jenkins is under pressure to
improve profitability and has pinpointed Africa as one of the
key areas for future growth.
The prize both are chasing is sub-Saharan Africa's mostly
unbanked 1 billion population and the companies there looking
for capital to grow, to take advantage of economies growing on
average at 5-7 percent a year.
(Editing by Pravin Char)