Business Former Barclays Boss 'Bob Diamond' in Talks to Buy $275m Stake in Nigeria's Union Bank



According to reports, Former Barclays boss Bob Diamond, through his investment vehicle Atlas Mara, is in talks to buy a $275 million stake in Union Bank of Nigeria.

Lagos-based UBN, with a market capitalisation of about $850m, was established as Colonial Bank in 1917, and from 1925 until the 1970s was owned by Barclays, the British bank that Diamond led before being ousted under a cloud two years ago.

In a prospectus published last month for the relisting of its shares in London, Atlas Mara said that it had the option to invest $275 million for "a non-controlling minority stake in a publicly traded African financial institution with operations in Nigeria and certain other countries in West Africa."

It said this week it had extended a deadline on whether to take up the option until Sept. 7.

If it chooses not to buy the stake Atlas Mara will have to pay a "break fee" of $2.5 million.

A deal would mark the third significant acquisition by Atlas Mara after being set up last year by Diamond and Africa-based entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar. It raised $300 million last month to add to its acquisition war chest, REUTERS reports.

Also, one of its purchases, ADC African Development Corporation, already owns a 9.1 percent indirect stake in UBN.

#Reuters #BobDiamond #Barclays #UnionBank #AtlasMara #Nigeria #Africa #England


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