Minority shareholders at African Banking Corporation Holdings (ABC) have been given less than a month to respond to a buyout proposal from Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited. The latter is a majority shareholder of the pan-African banking group that has retail operations in Botswana.
Once executed, the buyout of minority investors will result with the company delisting from both Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE). This week, Atlas Mara announced that it has made an offer to the holders of ordinary issued shares at a price of P7, 49 and $0, 82 for shares listed at BSE and ZSE respectively. The offer opened on Wednesday this week.
It will run until 7 November, but the time frame may change, said a notice from Atlas Mara and ABCH. The former owns 95, 84 percent of ABCH. Last month, Douglas Munatsi, ABCH Chief Executive stopped short of telling BG Business that a decision to delist is a foregone conclusion. “To be honest our continued listing will depend on authorities. Still, by continuing trading at BSE following the completion of the deal, we will be in violation of trading rules which state that our exposure to the market should be at least 30 percent,” he said. The decision to delist from BSE will end a 14 year stay at the local bourse, where the bank was valued at P1, 4 billion. Meanwhile, ABCH has also announced that half-year results to June 2014 will be lower compared to the same period last year.
The company, which owns retail banking brand- BancABC did not disclose reasons for the fall in profits. Locally, the bank has been on an expansionary path, opening several branches across the country. The results are expected on or before September 30th. Additionally, shareholders of the bank have been advised to exercise caution when dealing with its securities until full results have been announced. At the close of markets on Wednesday, the company’s shares were trading flat at 720 thebe.