Atlas Mara Co-Nvest has completed its acquisition of approximately 20.9% in Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), for a purchase price of approximately $250m.

The company now owns a 29.9% stake in UBN, combining its direct stake 20.9% stake from this transaction and Atlas Mara’s existing 9.05% stake held through its subsidiary African Development Corporation (ADC) in UBN’s majority shareholder, Union Global Partners.

John Vitalo, CEO of Atlas Mara, said: “Completing this transaction is an important step for Atlas Mara — having a significant stake in such a highly regarded bank as UBN is crucial to our strategy of building Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading financial services group.”

Atlas Mara was co-founded by Bob Diamond, CEO and founder of Atlas Merchant Capital and Ashish Thakkar, founder of Mara Group Holdings, and listed on the LSE in December 2013.

“Nigeria continues to represent an attractive destination for investment, particularly in financial services, and our acquisition of this stake in UBN is a key facet of our strategy in the ECOWAS region,” commented Diamond, now a director of Atlas Mara.

Thakkar, also a director, added: “We have been delighted by the constructive spirit of the Nigerian authorities. We look forward to contributing to the development of financial services in Nigeria as long-term participants in the market.”

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Atlas Mara’s stated objective is to build Africa’s ‘premier financial group’ by leveraging the group’s access to capital to partner with African financial services companies.

Union Bank of Nigeria PLC commenced operations in Nigeria in 1917. It became a public company limited by shares in 1970 with its shares quoted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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