Atlas Mara, the Africa-focused financial services investment company founded by former Barclays CEO Bob Diamond and African entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar has secured $200 million from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation or OPIC. The financing will support Atlas Mara’s $300 million project to acquire more assets and boost lending across Africa.
The financing is being provided in the form of long-term debt, with some $130 million of the capital being earmarked for strategic acquisitions as part of Atlas Mara’s expansion plans. In addition, the project will support BankABC, Atlas Mara’ banking platform in Southern Africa, to scale up its SME loan portfolio, increase on-lending for financial inclusion products and invest in information technology upgrades to boost the firm’s competitiveness with financial technology and mobile banking initiatives.
According to the information summary, the financing will be made as three individual loans to different country divisions ofa BankABC–$90 million for the bank’s business in Mozambique, $65 million for Zambia and $45 million for Botswana. Interest terms and repayment periods were not disclosed.
Commenting on the partnership with OPIC, Atlas Mara CEO John Vitalo said the capital “…will enable us to further accelerate our growth strategy and to deliver on our stated goals of being an innovation-driven, scale player and contributing positively to the communities in which we operate, particularly with respect to increasing access to financial products and services to the under-banked.”