Former Barclays Chief Executive Bob Diamond will team up with private equity group Carlyle to try to buy the bank’s African operations, Reuters reports, citing a source familiar with the matter.
Last month, following an announcement by the British bank that it planned to sell down its 62.3 percent stake in Barclays Africa over the next two to three years, UK’s Financial Times newspaper reported Diamond’s interest.
The former bank chief who was ousted in 2012 over the Libor rate-rigging scandal, had founded Atlas Mara with Ugandan billionaire Ashish Thakkar, as a London-listed vehicle to invest in African banks. However, with the company having a market capitalisation of £230 million, it will be challenging to buy Barclays’ operations outside of South Africa expected to be worth £1.5 billion, hence, the possible team-up with Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager with $183 billion of assets under management across 126 funds and 160 fund of funds vehicles. Both Carlyle and Atlas Mara declined to comment.
It remains to be seen whether Barclays will be willing to sell to Diamond who is living is African dream through his Atlas Mara funding vehicle with which he has entered seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa. He wants to be in up to 15 and he has the means to achieve this.
Diamond is supported by some mutual fund managers in the United States who have abundant financial resources. Wellington Asset Management – one of the oldest asset managers in the U.S. – is Atlas Mara’s top shareholder.