FMB’s deal to buy Zim bank is all but done

The Star Early Edition - - COMPANIES - Tawanda Karombo

EX­EC­U­TIVES at First Mer­chant Bank of Malawi (FMB) that has snapped up a con­trol­ling stake in Bar­clays Zim­babwe from its Bri­tish listed par­ent com­pany have said the only out­stand­ing is­sue on the deal are reg­u­la­tory ap­provals.

Bar­clays has also said that it will sell down a 33 per­cent stake in Bar­clays Africa Group as part of its plans to exit African mar­kets, al­though it will re­tain a small legacy in­ter­est in the Zim­bab­wean op­er­a­tion as well as in Bar­clays Africa, for­merly Absa.

Bar­clays holds a 67 per­cent in the Zim­bab­wean op­er­a­tion, which com­petes against other in­ter­na­tional banks such as Stan­dard Char­tered, Stan­dard Bank, Ned­bank and Ecobank.

First Mer­chant Bank of Malawi also has op­er­a­tions in Mozam­bique and Botswana and is now seek­ing to ex­pand into Zim­babwe through the ac­qui­si­tion of Bar­clays Bank Zim­babwe. How­ever, both par­ties have not yet made pub­lic how much FMB will pay for the stake.

“We are con­vinced that this ac­qui­si­tion, which is sub­ject to com­ple­tion of sat­is­fac­tory due dili­gence and reg­u­la­tory ap­provals, will trans­late into sus­tain­able value for all stake­hold­ers,” Hitesh Anad­kat, the chair­per­son of FMB said this week.

Re­ports in Zim­babwe ad­di­tion­ally show that a deal be­tween Bar­clays and FMB was struck on Tues­day this week and was an­nounced to Bar­clays Zim­babwe em­ploy­ees the fol­low­ing day.

Bar­clays con­firmed yes­ter­day that it was sell­ing a 33 per­cent stake in Bar­clays Africa, for­merly Absa. It is also di­vest­ing out of Egypt, which to­gether with the Zim­babwe op­er­a­tion had been left out of the ini­tial merger deal that saw Absa com­bine its as­sets and those of Bar­clays on the con­ti­nent to form Bar­clays Africa.

“Em­ploy­ees at Bar­clays Zim­babwe have al­ready been in­formed of the agree­ment that has been reached be­tween the bank’s par­ent com­pany and FMB. It’s as good as fi­nalised, but reg­u­la­tors in Zim­babwe such as the cen­tral bank will have the fi­nal say,” said a source in the bank­ing sec­tor in Zim­babwe.

PHOTO: SIM­PHIWE MBOKAZI

Bar­clays con­firmed yes­ter­day that it was sell­ing a 33 per­cent stake in Bar­clays Africa, for­merly Absa.

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