African financial services firm Atlas Mara said Wednesday it is raising $200 million via a share and convertible bond offering with a strategic investor, in order to support its investment in Union Bank of Nigeria.
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Atlas Mara, which was co-founded and is chaired by Robert Diamond, former chief executive of Barclays PLC, said it will offer $100.0 million worth of new shares at $2.25 each.
Shares in Atlas Mara were up 4.5% at $2.60 Wednesday morning.
Toronto-based investment firm Fairfax Africa Holdings Corp, which is underwriting the share offer, will have the right to secure a minimum of 30% of the open offer and will subscribe for any shares not taken up by qualifying existing shareholders.
Additionally, Atlas Mara will issue a $100.0 million mandatory convertible bond to Fairfax Africa. The bond will convert into new ordinary shares at the same $2.25 per share price upon the closing of the open offer.
On conversion of the bond and participation in the equity offering, Fairfax Africa is expected to have a total shareholding of at least 35% in Atlas Mara and will nominate four out of the company's total of nine directors. Diamond will continue as chairman of the board.
The financing is subject to shareholder approval at an extraordinary general meeting. The date of this meeting has not been determined.
Atlas Mara said the financing will support its agreement to acquire an indirect 13% stake in Union Bank of Nigeria from the Clermont Group for $55.0 million, subject to regulatory approval. The deal will take Atlas Mara's stake in Union Bank of Nigeria to 45%.
Additionally, the financing will fund Atlas Mara's subscription to its pro rata entitlements under Union Bank of Nigeria's forthcoming rights issue.
"Our board is thrilled to announce this important series of transactions. We have a terrific new partner in Fairfax Africa - a strategic investor and partner who brings permanent capital and a shared vision of the banking opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa," said Chairman Diamond. ■