By KALONDE NYATI
LONDON-LISTED Atlas Mara has acquired BancABC and will inject US$100 million in the group poised to be the leading financial institution in the region.
Atlas Mara chief executive officer John Vitalo said the firm had acquired ABC Holdings Limited which trades as BancABC and African Development Corporation (ADC) which wanted a stake in BancABC.
Atlas Mara, which has its headquarters in Tortola, British Virgin Islands, has acquired 95.84 percent in BancABC, representing a 58.09 percent direct interest and a 37.75 indirect interest through ADC.
Mr Vitalo said the development would result in the strengthening of the groupâ€™s expansion into Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mozambique and has minority investments in Kenya and Nigeria.
â€œAtlas Maraâ€™s objective is to build leading African financial institution and we will do that by making acquisitions and integrating the acquisitions into a new pan-African financial institution,â€ Mr Vitalo said at a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Vitalo said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) remains an important region as the firm expands.
â€œBancABC brings that footprint with the business that has demonstrated a track record of successful management team and we want to give them more resources to be able to take the business to the next level. Zambia also plays at an important role in the groupâ€™s growth because of its position in the SADC region,â€ he said.
At the same occasion, BancABC group chief executive officer Doug Munatsi said the US$100 million injection will be invested in growth sectors in the bankâ€™s footprint.
â€œFor example Zambia is active in mining and has ambitions to strengthen agriculture and manufacturing and tourism sectors so investment will go towards these sectors. Mozambique has huge gas plants, new mining opportunities so part of the investment will go there. We want to identify with every countryâ€™s growth ambitions,â€ he said.
Mr Munatsi said the bank would also continue to grow the small and medium-scale enterprises and support financial inclusion in the region.
BancABC has about 22 branches in Zambia.
By KALONDE NYATI