Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Atlas Mara CEO gets P66 million in shares

Atlas Mara, the African banking venture which recently bought local bank BancABC has reportedly awarded its chief executive John Vitalo shares worth P66 million.

Vitalo was poached from Barclays by former Barclays boss Bob Diamond in April to run Atlas Mara, which has struck three deals and wants to become the leading bank in sub-Saharan Africa.

Vitalo, a former US marine who headed Barclays’ Middle East and North Africa region and previously built up its African investment bank, was given 300,482 Atlas Mara shares on Thursday, worth P29 million at current prices.

The company also awarded Vitalo options for another 300,000 shares, and handed options on another 653,000 shares to other employees and consultants.

Atlas Mara closed its acquisitions of BancABC and African Development Corporation (ADC), after which it has acquired a beneficial interest of 95.84 percent in BancABC, representing a 58.09 percent direct interest and a 37.75 percent indirect interest through ADC.

The Company is said to be on track to complete its previously announced acquisition of the commercial arm of BRD, the development bank of Rwanda, and will continue to keep shareholders informed of developments with respect to closing.

The bank this month paid P2454.50 million to increase its stake in the Union Bank of Nigeria to almost 30 percent, its third and biggest deal to date.

BancABC Group Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Douglas Munatsi, said recently in Gaborone that the acquisitions have created a strong foothold for Atlas Mara in the commercially important Southern African Development Community (SADC).

“BancABC will keep its name and each one of the businesses Atlas Mara is acquiring at this stage will retain their own identity because there is obviously brand equity issue. That is the plan for now for the foreseeable future,” he said.

The BancABC Group CEO said that in connection with these transactions, Atlas Mara’s ordinary shares and warrants were temporarily suspended from trading on April 1, 2014 when the company announced its intention to acquire a majority of BancABC and make a voluntary public offer to acquire 100 percent of ADC.

“We will venture into technological mobile solutions in banking ÔÇô it is expected to take place soon in a couple of months. The reality of implementing it is that it might take some time,” said Munatsi.

Following its P2954 million IPO in December 2013, Atlas Mara has obtained access to additional equity capital of P2727 million from the private placement of ordinary shares announced in May 2014, which will settle upon readmission.

“Atlas Mara’s shareholder base is comprised primarily of “blue chip” institutional investors and the Company was particularly pleased by the high level of participation in the private placement by substantially all of its IPO investors,” said Munatsi.

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