Fairfax Africa takes 42% stake in Bob Diamond’s Africa bank

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Atlas Mara Ltd, the African investment vehicle of former Barclays boss Bob Diamond, said on Friday that Fairfax Africa now holds 42 percent of the company after it subscribed to 70.1 million new shares.

The change in ownership comes after Atlas Mara announced plans in June to raise $200 million so that it could increase its stake in Union Bank of Nigeria and scale up other businesses.

Fairfax subscribed to around 80 pct of Atlas Mara’s share issue, with existing shareholders taking the rest.

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Fairfax Africa is part of Canadian investment firm Fairfax Financial, led by Prem Watsa, to invest in African assets.

Diamond teamed up with Africa-based entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar to set up Atlas Mara, a vehicle through which they planned to buy up assets to help build it into a powerful force in African banking.

Reporting By Andrew MacAskill; Editing by Rachel Armstrong

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