Atlas Mara sells Brainworks stake, deal values Zimbabwean private equity firm at nearly $90mln

Atlas Mara sells Brainworks stake, deal values Zimbabwean private equity firm at nearly $90mln

HARARE, June 17 (The Source) – Atlas Mara, the London-listed financial services group founded by former Barclays Plc chief executive Bob Diamond and Ugandan billionaire Ashish Thakkar, on Wednesday announced it had sold its 10 percent stake in emerging Zimbabwean private equity firm Brainworks Capital for $8,72 million.

The cash and scrip deal values Brainworks, which has emerged as a key deal maker and broker in Zimbabwe, at $87,2 million.

Atlas Mara said the price, agreed with an unnamed third party, is 1,4 times Brainworks’ reported 2014 asset value.

“This transaction is consistent with Atlas Mara’s focus on its sub-Saharan African banking operations and strategy of selling non-core investments acquired in connection with its acquisition of ADC African Development Corporation AG,” Atlas Mara said in a filing to the LSE.

“ADC Financial Services & Corporate Development (“ADC FS”), an indirectly wholly-owned subsidiary of Atlas Mara, has entered into an agreement with a third party whereby ADC FS has agreed to sell its Brainworks stake in exchange for approximately $3.1 million in cash and 665,195 Atlas Mara ordinary shares.”

Atlas Mara last year acquired pan-African banking group ABC Holdings, along with its ADC purchase.

Brainworks has investments in Zimbabwe’s financial services industry through its 29 percent stake in Ecobank Zimbabwe, hospitality through its takeover of Zimbabwe’s biggest hotel group African Sun and real estate through Dawn Properties. The firm is also invested in fuel retail and distribution.

In March, Brainworks tabled a $20 million bid for a 40 percent locally-owned stake in Zimbabwe’s third largest mobile network operator Telecel. Brainworks has since withdrawn the bid amid a public wrangle within Telecel’s local shareholding consortium. Dutch headquartered Vimpelcom is Telecel’s controlling shareholder with 60 percent.

On the advisory side, Brainworks has been involved in the indigenization transactions by major mining companies Impala Platinum, Aquarius and Anglo American Platinum with the government of Zimbabwe.