HARARE, June 27 (The Source) –Two foreignfirms have concluded the acquisition of MicroKing, the micro lending subsidiary of collapsed AfrAsiaBankZimbabwe Limited, parties involved in the deal have said.
French company MicroCred Group and Tunisia-based AfricInvest Financial Sector Fund announced in March this year that they were in negotiations to acquire the micro-lender, pending regulatory approval.
The Deposit Protection Corporation, which is the liquidator of ABZL, confirmed on Sunday the acquisition was complete.
“Pursuant to the ongoing liquidation of AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe Limited, the liquidator, the Deposit Protection Corporation, hereby advises the public that it concluded the disposal of MicroKing Finance Limited, a subsidiary of AfrAsia Bank Zimbabwe Limited, to a consortium of international investors namely, Microcred SAS and AfricInvest Financial Sector Fund with effect from 23May, 2016,” DPC chief executive John Chikurasaid in a statement.
MicroKing was put up for sale when its parent firm AfrAsiaBank Zimbabwe ceased operations after its major shareholder, Mauritius-based AfrAsia Bank Limited,divested from Zimbabwe early last year.
This led to the liquidation of the bank and subsequent sale of its subsidiaries, including AfrAsia Capital, to new investors who saw potential in the operations.
Microcred and AfricInvest said in a joint statement MicroKingwill be renamed Microcred Zimbabwe.
“A comprehensive growth strategy , rebranding and recapitalisation are underway that will result in the standardisation and integration of both business and operational practices of MicroKing to the MicroCred Group, as well as position the company for growth,” the new ownerssaid.
The two firms reportedly plan to pump in over $20 million into the Zimbabwean micro-lender in the next two years as well as upgrade it into a microfinance bank.
In terms of the deal, MicroCredwill own 70 percent of the local business while AfricInvest owns the remainder.
Microcred has operations in China and in six other African countries, namelyIvory Coast, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia.
AfricInvest is a pan-African private equity fund manager, managing over $1 billion investments mainly in Northern and sub Saharan Africa.