Zenith, Access Bank, Others show interest in acquiring Atlas Mara’s stake in Union Bank
Zenith Bank, Access Bank, and some other Africa and Middle East financial institutions have allegedly shown interest in the acquisition of Atlas Mara’s 49.97% stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
Atlas Mara Ltd is a pan-African banking group started by Bob Diamond, former Chief Executive of Barclays Bank Plc. Atlas Mara is the owner of the largest stake in Union Bank.
According to Bloomberg anonymous sources disclosed that the London-listed group has received a number of approaches for its 49.97% holding in Lagos-based Union Bank of Nigeria Plc.
The sources who stated that the information is still private said Nigeria’s Zenith Bank Plc and Access Bank Plc are among suitors that have expressed interest, alongside other African rivals such as Morocco’s Attijariwafa Bank.
Middle Eastern banks and private equity suitors have also shown interest as some of the potential buyers have indicated they may acquire all of Atlas Mara’s remaining assets in Africa, which would include its Zimbabwe unit.
Although no final decision has been taken yet as there is still a lot of uncertainty around the discussions, Atlas Mara has been working with Rothschild & Co. to consider options for its Union Bank stake, the report suggests.
Atlas Mara Group on Wednesday said that it has secured regulatory approval for the sales of its businesses in Botswana and Mozambique and received interest in other assets, without going into details.
The Group also said it completed a planned restructuring exercise and extended a standstill agreement with its creditors to May 17 to complete necessary documentation just as it added that it is still in legal disputes with two creditors, TLG and Norsad.