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Chairman Bob Diamond steps down as Atlas Mara reviews options
Posted on Wednesday, 06 February 2019 11:44
Atlas Mara, the London-listed and Pan-African financial group, has launched a review of strategic alternatives and unveiled a shake-up of its top management positions.

One confirmed move has already been announced by the business, whose shares rose 4.2 per cent following the announcement this morning to USD 1.72 at 08:48, valuing the group at USD 285.06 million.

This includes co-founder Bob Diamond stepping down from his chairman position and taking a non-executive director role, with fellow board member Michael Wilkerson to fill in the role.

Another option, currently just being considered at this time, is for Atlas Mara to acquire a 35.0 per cent stake in South African financial services provider GroCapital from Fairfax Africa Holdings, in a bid to expand its digital banking capabilities.

The company said it will continue to focus on core markets, seek new partners and exit or reduce risk exposure in other areas.

Atlas Mara’s board identified the group’s key strategic priorities for 2019, including accelerating agricultural finance platform, execute on the Nigerian strategy, invest in high-impact technology and digital marketing and reposition markets and treasury business lines.

The investment firm plans to evaluate which markets to stay in and which to exit.

Atlas Mara has lost over 80.0 per cent of its value since going public in 2013 and has appointed Citigroup to help review alternatives.

In the nine months ended 30th September 2018, the group posted cash and short-term funds of USD 343.80 million, on total assets of USD 3.16 billion.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows there were 9,559 deals targeting finance and insurance companies announced worldwide last year.

Cigna agreed to acquire Express Scripts Holding for USD 67.00 million in the largest of these.

Bank of China, XL Group, Agricultural Bank of China and Anbang Insurance Group, among others, also featured in high-valued deals.

© Zephus Ltd