South Africa?s banking group, Absa and British bank Barclays today December 6, 2012 announced they plan to combine their operations in Africa for a deal worth ?1.3 billion.

Absa is acquiring the operations of Barclays bank in nine African countries including Ghana where it will takeover 100% of the bank?s operation in the country.

?The proposed strategic combination will be effected by way of an acquisition by Absa Group Limited of Barclays Africa Limited, the proposed holding company of the Portfolio, for a consideration of 129,540,636 Absa ordinary shares, representing a value of R18,33billion (?1.3billion) for Barclays Africa Limited,? the banks said in a joint statement.

As a result of the transaction, Barclays? stake in Absa will increase from 55.5% to 62.3%, the statement added.

Absa will be renamed Barclays Africa Limited and it will hold a significant majority of ?Barclays? ownership interests in banking operations in Botswana (67.8%), Ghana (100%), Kenya (68.5%), Mauritius (100%), Seychelles (99.8%), Tanzania (100%), Uganda (100%) and Zambia (100%), as well as the Barclays Africa Regional Office in Johannesburg (100%),? the statement indicated.

The statement said, ?It is a condition precedent to the proposed combination that, subject to the applicable regulatory approvals, at least the operations in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya and Mauritius, as well as the Barclays Africa Regional Office, are transferred to Barclays Africa Limited by the first closing date.?

It added that the remaining companies in the Portfolio that have not transferred to Barclays Africa Limited by such closing date will become the subject of subsequent closings.

Officials say the deal is expected to be completed in the first half of 2013 subject to ?fulfilment of the conditions precedent, including regulatory approvals across the affected jurisdictions?.

By Ekow Quandzie

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