Banking

Access bank set to buy Atlas Mara LTD

Access Bank Plc is in talks about a potential acquisition of assets belonging to Atlas Mara Ltd.

Lagos-based Access Bank is interested in Atlas Mara’s businesses in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, the people familiar with the matter have said asking not to be identified because the matter is private.

Deliberations are in preliminary stages and no final decision has been made, they said.

If successful, Atlas Mara will be left with its largest investment, a 49.97% stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, which gives it a footprint in Africa’s largest economy.

A deal would also mark the second transaction between Atlas Mara and Access Bank after the Nigerian lender agreed to buy its Mozambique unit at the end of September.

Representatives for Atlas Mara and Access Bank declined to comment.

Zambia was listed among the company’s discontinued operations in its first-half earnings report.

Atlas Mara, which has lost 96% of its value since listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2013, is exiting markets or seeking partners in countries where it doesn’t see opportunities to bulk up or make money.

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