Access Bank in talks to acquire Atlas Mara Zambia

ZAMBIA Access Bank Plc of Nigeria is in talks about a potential acquisition of assets belonging to Atlas Mara Ltd.

The Lagos-based Access Bank is interested in Atlas Mara’s businesses in Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia, the people familiar with the matter have told Lusaka Times.

Deliberations are in preliminary stages and no final decision has been made, they said.

If successful, Atlas Mara will be left with its largest investment, a 49.97% stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, which gives it a footprint in Africa’s largest economy.

A deal would also mark the second transaction between Atlas Mara and Access Bank after the Nigerian lender agreed to buy its Mozambique unit at the end of September.

Representatives for Atlas Mara and Access Bank declined to comment to questions from Lusaka Times newspaper.

Zambia was listed among the company’s discontinued operations in its first-half earnings report.

Atlas Mara, which has lost 96% of its value since listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2013, is exiting markets or seeking partners in countries where it does not see opportunities to bulk up or make money.

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