Atlas Mara Co-Nvest has raised its stake in Botswana’s ABC Holdings (BancABC) to 98.7% with a mandatory public offer made to minority shareholders from Botswana and Zimbabwe.
Atlas Mara began its acquisition of BancABC back in March with the purchase of roughly 51% of BancABC’s total outstanding shares for $0.82 a share, or the equivalent in Atlas-Mara shares.
The investment company has since steadily increased its stake yet further to 95.84% of the stock, at which point resistance from remaining shareholders prompted the buy out.
Now, in a joint statement with ABC Holdings, Atlas-Mara said it had bought over four million shares from minority shareholders in Zimbabwe and about 2.4 million shares from minority investor in Botswana.
“Further to the mandatory public offer to the shareholders of ABC Holdings of September 22, 2014, Atlas Mara achieved a total of 98.7% ownership in BancABC,” it said.
Mara also completed a 77% acquisition of the Rwanda’s Commercial Bank from the Rwandan government just a month ago.
Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond noted that Atlas Mara continues to be on the lookout for acquisitions as it presses ahead with plans to build Sub-Saharan Africa’s leading bank.
The company noted that the next step following the acquisition would be to improve efficiencies, controls and governance and “address shortcomings in the credit processes”.
Atlas Mara has also hired Richard Muller, who used to work for Barclays and ABSA, as its ‘chief integration officer’ to ensure synergies from acquired businesses are delivered.
Earlier in the year, Diamond and Ashish Thakkar also met with Zimbabwe’s finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, to discuss the country’s bond market.
Diamond formed Atlas Mara in a joint partnership with Thakkar’s Dubai-based Mara Group in 2013, and saw the venture listed on the London Stock Exchange in December.
The investment firm has so far mobilised over $800m on the LSE to finance its businesses.
BancABC has operations in Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and is listed on both the Botswana and Zimbabwe stock exchanges, though Atlas Mara has made clear that it will delist the banking group from both bourses and make it a private company.