LONDON (Reuters) – Barclays is in exclusive talks to sell its stake in its Zimbabwe unit to Malawi-based First Merchant Bank, the lenders said on Tuesday, as the British bank continues its exit from Africa.
First Merchant Bank said in a statement on its website it was in exclusive talks to buy out the 68 percent of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe owned by the British company.
A spokeswoman for Barclays confirmed the bank was in early discussions with a prospective buyer for its stake in the Zimbabwe bank.
Neither party disclosed a value for the prospective deal. Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe has a market capitalisation of $60 million, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Barclays previously said it was looking to sell the stake as part of a broader exit from Africa announced a year ago when Chief Executive Jes Staley said the lender would instead focus on a transatlantic strategy in the United States and Britain.
Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe is one of two banks together with Barclays Bank Egypt that do not form part of the lender’s South Africa-based Barclays Africa Group, which is also up for sale.
The remaining 32 percent of Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe’s shares are traded on the Zimbabwe stock exchange.
(Reporting by Lawrence White; Editing by Mark Potter)
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