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Atlas Mara acquires Finance Bank of Zambia in cash/share deal

Atlas Mara, the financial services investment company, looks set to acquire the entire share capital of Finance Bank of Zambia (FBZ), the country’s sixth largest bank, for $60 million in cash and 2.6 million shares of Atlas Mara stock. Once the deal is completed, Atlas Mara plans to merge FBZ with its existing portfolio holding, BankABC Zambia, to create Zambia’s largest bank by branch network and 5th largest bank by assets with combined assets of about $418 million.

According to the announcement, as of June 30th, 2015, FBZ had approximately $261 million of assets, $127 million of loans, $181 million of deposits and $59 million of equity. The Bank employs 800 people, and operates 63 locations in Zambia.

“We are highly enthusiastic about Zambia’s long-term prospects and our ability to play a leading role in the development of financial services there, “ commented John Vitalo, Atlas Mara’s Chief Executive Officer. “…The acquisition of FBZ is another important step in the execution of Atlas Mara’s strategy to build sub-Saharan Africa’s premier financial institution, in part, by becoming a scale participant in our countries of operation, which this transaction will achieve for us in Zambia.”

The transaction comes hot on the heels of deal with similar strategic objectives undertaken by Atlas Mara in Rwanda within the last two weeks. In late October the investment company announced it is investing $21 million in Banque Populaire de Rwanda which it plans to merge with its portfolio holding, BRD Commercial Bank, which it acquired in October 2014. Following that merger, Atlas Mara will hold approximately 62% of the equity of the combined entity, which will take the Banque Populaire de Rwanda brand.

The FBZ deal, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to close during the first quarter of 2016.

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