Nigeria: Atlas Mara now owns a third of Union Bank
The Investment firm has acquired a 29.9 per cent stake in the Nigerian Bank.Investment firm Atlas Mara has increased its stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc to 29.9 per cent, through the acquisition of 20.9 per cent of the bank's holdings from the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
The transaction was worth approximately $250 million (€204 million), This Day reports.
Union Bank, which has 340 branches across Nigeria and had about N1.008 trillion of assets (€4.4 billion), N409 billion in deposits and N208 billion in equity at the end of June, is undergoing a rebranding exercise to become more competitive.
"This is a very significant acquisition ... we will have a significant stake in a key Nigerian bank and we will also have established strategic market positions in three of Africa's leading economic communities: the Southern African Development Community, the East Africa Community and the Economic Community of West African States," Atlas Mara said in a statement.
The company - which acquired in October some of the Development Bank of Rwanda's assets and injected $210 million into ABC Holdings in Zimbabwe - said in a recent press release its "strategy is to build a leading Pan-African banking platform by partnering with and investing in strong African Banks and African entrepreneurs".
In December 2013, it announced it had raised $325 million on the London Stock Exchange to invest in the African banking sector, arguing that there are good growth opportunities given that only 25 per cent of the population has a bank account, while five per cent has access to credit.