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Atlas Mara secures 29.9 per cent of Union Bank of Nigeria

Atlas Mara secures 29.9 per cent of Union Bank of Nigeria
September 05
20:11 2014

Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited has made its biggest single investment to date with the acquisition of an additional 20.9 per cent stakes in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. This increased its shares in the bank to 29.9 per cent.

Valued at $270m, the deal will enable the investment company expand its business across Africa.

Established on November 28, 2013, Atlas Mara is hoping to become a leading financial institution in sub-Saharan Africa.

The London Stock Exchange-listed company already has investments in several African countries, including Botswana, Mozambique and Tanzania.

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It recently acquired majority stakes of pan-African financial services provider BancABC and the German listed African Development Corporation (ADC).

Veteran banker, Bob Diamond, who co-founded Atlas Mara, said the acquisition of additional shares in Union Bank is “very significant” for Atlas Mara.

“With it, we will have a significant stake in a key Nigerian bank and we will also have established strategic market positions in three of Africa’s leading economic communities: the Southern Africa Development Community, the East Africa Community and Economic Community of West African States,” he explained.

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“By increasing our stake in UBN, combined with the completed acquisitions of BancABC and ADC and our pending acquisition of the commercial banking operations of BRD, we are well on the way to becoming a leading African financial institution that will benefit from, and contribute to, the continued growth of rapidly expanding sub-Saharan Africa,” Africa-based entrepreneur and Atlas Mara co-founder, Ashish Thakkar added.

Until the 1970s, Union Bank was known as Barclays Bank of Nigeria.

Diamond had previously served as CEO of Barclays, spear-heading the bank’s growth in Africa. He left his job as Barclay boss in 2012 as a result of the London Inter-Bank Offered Rate (Libor) rigging scandal.

As at June 2014, Union Bank’s asset was valued at $6.3bn.

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The bank, one of the oldest banks in Nigeria, has about 340 branch network across Africa and a subsidiary in the United Kingdom.

 

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