Atlas Mara completes sale of Brainworks stake

Atlas Mara completes sale of Brainworks stake

HARARE, July 30 (The Source) – Atlas Mara, the London-listed financial services group founded by former Barclays Plc chief executive Bob Diamond and Ugandan billionaire Ashish Thakkar, has completed the sale of its 10 percent stake in Brainworks Capital Management for nearly $9 million, the company said on Thursday.

Brainworks is a  Zimbabwe-focused private equity and advisory firm. Last month, Atlas Mara’s wholly-owned subsidiary ADC Financial Services & Corporate Development agreed to sell its Brainworks stake in exchange for approximately $3,1 million in cash and 665,195 Atlas Mara ordinary shares.

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

Separately, on July 14, 2015, the company repurchased 298 shares at a high price of $6 and a low price of $5,95, all of which were to be held as treasury shares, the company said.

Atlas Mara last year acquired pan-African banking group ABC Holdings — which owns BancABC — 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 Brainworks has since withdrawn the bid amid a public wrangle within Telecel’s local shareholding consortium.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.