Ex-Barclays chief eyes bank's African assets

26th April 2016, Comments 0 comments

A company run by the ousted former boss of Barclays said Tuesday that it was mulling a bid for the troubled British bank's African operations.

As part of a major restructuring, Barclays announced last month that it will sell down its 62.3-percent interest in Barclays Africa to 20 percent over the next two to three years.

Atlas Mara, a finance company co-founded by ex-Barclays chief Bob Diamond revealed in a statement that it has held talks with investors over the possible acquisition.

"Atlas Mara Limited acknowledges that it has had discussions with a consortium of investors that is exploring an acquisition of Barclays' stake in Barclays Africa and a potential combination of Atlas Mara with Barclays Africa," read the statement.

The consortium includes private equity vehicle Atlas Merchant Capital, which was established by Diamond, and the Mara Group that was founded by Ugandan businessman Ashish J. Thakkar.

Diamond and Thakkar formed Atlas Mara in 2013 with the aim of consolidating financial services companies in Africa.

The company has so far made acquisitions in seven sub-Saharan countries from Botswana to Nigeria, with plans to expand that to 10 to 15 markets over the next few years.

Diamond was forced to resign as Barclays chief executive in July 2012 when the bank was plagued by the damaging Libor rate-fixing scandal.

© 2016 AFP

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