Malawi-based First Merchant Bank ( FMB) has received regulatory approvals to acquire an effective 42,7 percent shareholding in Barclays Bank Zimbabwe, completing its takeover of the bank.
FMB holds considerable stakes in several banks in the Southern Africa . It holds a 70 percent stake in Capital Bank S.A , a licensed commercial bank in Mozambique and a 38,6 percent shareholding in Capital Bank incorporated in Botswana. It also has a 49 percent stake in First Capital Bank, of Zambia.
In March Barclays Plc announced its decision to sell off its 62,3 percent stake in Barclays Africa Group to focus more on its transatlantic operations with a deal to sell off the Zimbabwean unit to FMB Malawi being announced in May. The deal has faced stiff resistance from Barclays Bank Zimbabwe management and a local ownership lobby group.
In a statement on Friday Barclays Bank Zimbabwe said the transaction had been completed following fulfilment of all statutory and regulatory requirements.
“FMB Capital Holdings Plc (FMBCH) and Barclays Bank Zimbabwe (BBZ) have announced
the successful acquisition of a majority shareholding (81 percent) in Afcarme Zimbabwe Holdings (Pvt) Limited, the holding company for Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Limited (BBZ) from Barclays Bank PLC (BBPLC),” reads the statement .
The bank will continue to operate under the Barclays brand with the FMBCH brand being introduced over a subsequent two year period.
Barclays Plc will maintain 19 percent shareholding in Afcarme for a period of up to three years. Prior to the transaction Afcarme donated a 15 percent stake in the Barclays Bank Zimbabwe to the bank’s employees through a newly established One Thousand Nine Hundred and Twelve (1912) Employee Share Ownership Trust (“1912”ESOT).
Other major shareholders of BBZ are Old Mutual and SCB nominees which hold 5,11 percent and 4,52 percent respectively.