PIC eye­ing a big­ger slice of the Bar­clays pie

The Star Early Edition - - BUSINESS REPORT - Ka­belo Khu­malo

THE PUB­LIC In­vest­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (PIC) yes­ter­day said that it would buy the big­gest chunk of the 187 mil­lion shares in Bar­clays Africa (BAGL), val­ued at £1.6 bil­lion (R26.84bn), that the group has put up for sale as it inches closer to re­duc­ing its African busi­ness from its bal­ance sheet.

PIC chief ex­ec­u­tive Daniel Matjila con­firmed it would be buy­ing the shares.

He ad­mit­ted the PIC was eye­ing a much big­ger slice. “The in­ten­tion was to get more than we even­tu­ally got, but were pre­vented from do­ing so by reg­u­la­tory is­sues that pro­hib­ited us from tak­ing a big­ger chunk,” said Matjila.

Bar­clays yes­ter­day said the shares were be­ing of­fered to in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors through an ac­cel­er­ated book-build plac­ing, which was opened with im­me­di­ate ef­fect.

“The PIC has con­firmed its par­tic­i­pa­tion as an an­chor in­vestor in the plac­ing for ap­prox­i­mately 59 mil­lion shares, rep­re­sent­ing 7 per­cent of BAGL’s is­sued share cap­i­tal.”

The sale would see Bar­clays re­duc­ing its stake from 50.1 per­cent to about 28 per­cent. The com­pany ini­tially cut its stake from 62 per­cent to 50.1 per­cent last year.

The bank said it had re­ceived the nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tory ap­provals to fur­ther sell down its po­si­tion in BAGL and would con­tinue to do so.

It said the PIC would take own­er­ship of the shares at a later stage due to reg­u­la­tory con­sid­er­a­tions.

“De­liv­ery of the plac­ing shares to be taken up by PIC is ex­pected to oc­cur at a later date fol­low­ing re­ceipt of the nec­es­sary reg­u­la­tory ap­provals.”

Bar­clays said its in­ten­tion was to di­vest its hold­ing to a level which would per­mit it to de­con­sol­i­date BAGL from a reg­u­la­tory and an ac­count­ing per­spec­tive.

Its long-term aim is to hold about 15 per­cent in BAGL.

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