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Atlas Mara has announced that it is exiting some of its operations on the continent in exchange for a share of Kenya’s biggest bank.
Atlas Mara in a statement said it will swap operations in Rwanda, Zambia, Mozambique, and Tanzania for a 6.27 percent stake in Nairobi-based Equity Group Holdings Plc, the value of the transaction is worth about $106 million.
“Shareholding in EGH and the relationship that this represents with the leader in digital banking in Africa can meaningfully enhance our value proposition across our operations, our strategic review continues, but we believe the new Atlas Mara emerging from the proposed transaction is the right model for delivering value for shareholders over the long-term,” the statement said.
According to the company, Chief Executive Officer, John Staley is stepping down to pursue other interests after a review of the business that has struggled to contain costs that engulfed income and its share price plummeted more than 80 percent since being listed in London at the end of 2013,
An analysis of the company’s full-year 2018 result for the period 31st December shows that net income plummeted 12.5percent to $39.7 million in 2018. Out of this, its biggest investment, Union Bank of Nigeria contributed associate income of an estimated $56.5 million for full year 2018 compared to $38.4 million in 2017, which reflects the company’s share of income on an equity accounted basis of $27.8 million in 2018 as well as the impact of the gain on acquisition of $28.7 million
Atlas Mara increased its stake in Union Bank of Nigeria from 44.5 percent in Q4 2017 to 49.0 percent in Q4 2018 and 49.7 percent as at 30 April 2019.
Financial highlights from Union Bank show that Profit after tax increased by 39percent to N18billion returns on average tangible equity at the bank increased from 5.9percent to 11.3percent, NPL ratio declined from 20.8percent to 8.1percent resulting from loan book clean-up, improved collections and collateral management, and adoption of IFRS 9, total expenses increased by 12percent, largely due to higher AMCON/Nigerian Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) premium, increased depreciation, and maintenance expenses, staff costs, and business promotion expenses, while loans and advances reduced by 8percent mainly as a result of write-off of some fully provisioned non-performing loans and deposits increased by 7percent, reflecting the success of the bank’s mobilization efforts.
Atlas Mara Limited is a financial services institution founded by ex-Barclays Plc chief, Bob Diamond and listed on the London Stock Exchange with presence in seven sub-Saharan countries.