Following a decision by the Competition Authority to endorse the takeover of a local bank, BancABC by a London registered company, Atlas Mara, the board of the holding company, ABCH has withdrawn a cautionary statement that has been circulating in the domestic capital market over the past few months. The company says that Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited has acquired a beneficial interest equal to 95.84 percent of the issued shares in the Company by purchasing ordinary shares representing 58.09 percent of the issued ordinary shares. The remainder was acquired through the acquisition of control of the holder of shares representing 37.75 percent of the issued ordinary shares.
“Atlas Mara will be communicating its intention to make an offer to remaining Shareholders in line with applicable regulatory requirements in the immediate future,” read part of the statement released to the markets this week.
When endorsing the deal a few weeks back, the Competition Authority indicated that it had determined to unconditionally authorise the proposed transaction on the grounds that analysis of the facts of the case have shown that there were no substantive competition concerns that will arise in the commercial banking sector in Botswana on account of the proposed transaction. However, as stated under section 66 of the Competition Act, the approval, according to the authority, does not override or negate any other mandatory statutory approvals or processes that any of the parties to these mergers must comply with under the Laws of Botswana.
The Authority also stated that the proposed transaction is not likely to result in substantial lessening of competition, nor endanger the continuity of service, due to the existence of post-merger competitive pressure that will continue to be posed by the top four commercial banks (First National Bank of Botswana, Barclays Bank of Botswana, Stanbic Bank Botswana and Standard Chartered Bank).