Robert Diamond’s Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Ltd. is looking for more acquisitions in Southern Africa after buying lenders in Botswana and Rwanda.
“We will be as aggressive as we can within the limits of prudence,” Atlas Mara chief executive officer John Vitalo, a former colleague of Diamond’s at Barclays plc, told reporters today in Lusaka, the Zambian capital. The company is looking at a number of potential deals in Southern Africa, he said.
Diamond, who quit as Barclays CEO in 2012 in the wake of a fine for manipulating benchmark interest rates, and Ugandan entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar raised $325 million in an initial public offering last year. The investment firm, to which Diamond and Thakkar committed $20 million of their own money, is looking for African financial-services companies that can help businesses manage currency and commodity risks.
Atlas Mara has raised a total $825 million in equity and debt, according to Vitalo. The bank earlier this month completed the acquisition of Botswana’s BancABC and is also buying a 77 percent stake in the commercial arm of the Development Bank of Rwanda from the government.