THE Barclays Africa deal to take over South Africa's Absa Group has sailed through a crucial moment after the latter minority shareholders overwhelmingly voted 96 per cent in favour of the transaction.
Despite the takeover deal approval, Barclays Bank Tanzania and National Bank of Commerce (NBC) would operate as two separate and independent entities.
The Absa's shareholders did not only okay the takeover deal but also approved the change of name of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE)-listed entity from 'Absa Group Limited' to 'Barclays Africa Group Limited' to reflect the enlarged nature of the business.
According to the Barclays Tanzania (BBT), the change of name would take effect once the transaction closes, which is expected in the first half of this year, subject to the required regulatory approvals and fulfilment of other conditions precedent.
"In respect of Tanzania, the proposed strategic combination of the majority of Barclays Africa operations with Absa will only include Barclays Bank Tanzania," BBT said in a release yesterday. The release added: "Absa Group Limited's majority interest in National Bank of Commerce (NBC) will be maintained".
This means that BBT and NBC will continue to operate as two separate and independent entities, with separate boards and management teams. Absa Group Chief Executive Maria Ramos said after the shareholders vote: "This is an exciting and transformational deal that will create a high-quality franchise in Africa with a leading network of more than 1,300 outlets and 10,400 ATMs across ten countries.
"The vote of confidence from Absa's independent shareholders today is an important milestone in our journey towards becoming the 'Go-To' bank across Africa." The combined, JSE-listed business will serve approximately 14.4 million customers and employ around 43,000 people across ten countries.
Absa Group, listed on the JSE Limited, is one of South Africa's largest financial services groups offering a complete range of banking, insurance and wealth management products and services. The group's business is conducted primarily in South Africa.
It also has equity holdings in banks in Mozambique and Tanzania, representative offices in Namibia and Nigeria and Bancassurance operations in Botswana and Mozambique. At December 31, 2012, the Group had 718.2 million shares in issue and a market capitalisation of R117.79 billion (about 22.497tr/-).