Atlas Mara, an investment company owned by former Barclays Bank Plc chief executive officer Bob Diamond and African billionaire Ashish Thakkar now owns 98,7 percent of regional pan-African banking group ABC Holdings after it acquired shares from minority shareholders in Zimbabwe and Botswana. Before the latest acquisition, Atlas Mara had owned 95,84 percent of the stock.
In a joint statement with ABC Holdings yesterday, Atlas Mara said it last week bought over four million shares from minority shareholders in Zimbabwe and about 2,4 million shares from minority investors in Botswana.
“Further to the mandatory public offer to the shareholders of ABC Holdings Limited of September 22 2014, Atlas Mara achieved a total of 98,7 percent ownership in BancABC,” they said.
BancABC has operations in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The bank is also listed on both the Zimbabwe and Botswana stock exchanges.
Atlas Mara has already indicated that it will delist the banking group from both bourses and make it a private company. The investment company first announced its intention to buy a 51 percent stake in ABC Holdings in March in a transaction that was worth $265 million.
Atlas Mara, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, is made up of Diamond’s Atlas Merchant Capital and Thakkar’s Mara Group Holdings Limited.
The investment firm, which is targeting acquisition on the African continent, has mobilised over $800 million on the LSE to finance its businesses. Diamond and Thakkar recently visited Zimbabwe to scout for investment opportunities and met Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa. – New Ziana.