Atlas Mara to Pump U.S.$100 Million Into Economy

A LONDON Stock Exchange (LSE) listed company, ATLAS Mara Co-Nvest Limited, which has successfully completed the acquisition of the ABC Holdings Group shares, is to invest a total of US$100 million in the Zambian economy.

Atlas Mara, which announced the acquisitions of shares in ABC Holdings Limited and the African Development Corporation (ADC), will pump the funds in all critical sectors of the Zambian economy to enhance development.

Speaking during a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Atlas Mara chief executive officer John Vitalo said the company has made a commitment to inject US$100 million into the BancABC group in Zambia.

He said though Zambia was a great mining country, the bank’s ambition was to strengthen sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and tourism.

Mr Vitalo said Atlas Mara has acquired a beneficial interest of 95.84 per cent in BancAbc, representing a 58.09 per cent direct interest and a 37.75 per cent interest through ADC.

As a result of the acquisitions of BancAbc and ADC, Atlas Mara apart from Zambia, now

has operations in four other countries namely, Botswana, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe and minority investments in Nigeria and Kenya.

Mr Vitalo explained that following its US$325 million initial public offer (IPO) in December 2013, Atlas Mara has now obtained access to additional equity capital of US $300 million from the private placement of ordinary shares announced in May 2014, which would be settled upon readmission.

Atlas Mara’s ordinary shares and warrants were temporarily suspended from trading in April 2014 when the company announced its intention to acquire majority shares of BancABC and a voluntary public offer to acquire 100 per cent ADC

It was expected that readmission would become effective and dealings in the company’s ordinary shares and warrants would commence before the end of August, 2014.

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 all of its IPO investors.

“As previously announced, Atlas Mara entered into a commitment agreement in June 2014 that provides for debt facilities of up to $200 million to support future growth, subject to certain customary conditions.

Source : The Times of Zambia

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