Why Kenya's Equity Bank broke off talks with Atlas Mara

Business: Why Kenya’s Equity Bank broke off talks with Atlas Mara

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 02:39 pm

The Kenyan giant is renouncing the acquisition of African subsidiaries of the British headquartered bank Atlas Mara. A decision linked to Covid-19, but not entirely.

Atlas Mara – listed on the London Stock Exchange and co-founded by former Barclays boss Bob Diamond, its CEO until February 2019 – and Equity Group Holdings (EGH) have ended their negotiations that began in April 2019.

The transaction involved Equity’s acquisition of a 62% stake in Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR) and all of Atlas Mara’s subsidiaries in Zambia, Tanzania and Mozambique (BancABC).

In exchange, Atlas Mara was to obtain a 6.3% equity stake in Equity Group, representing 252.2m shares with an estimated value of $105.4m at the time.

EGH is the parent company of the Equity Bank banking group ($400m in revenues in 2018), the second largest in Kenya and also present in Rwanda, Uganda, South Sudan, Tanzania and the DRC.