Absa to acquire Barclays Africa

Absa Group CEO Maria Ramos said the deal will cost just over R18 billion.

Absa Group CEO Maria Ramos said they are excited to be working with Barclays following their new deal.

JOHANNESBURG - British bank Barclays and its subsidiary Absa Group have agreed to combine the majority of Barclays' Africa operations with Absa.

The deal is expected to cost just over R18 billion.

Absa Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maria Ramos said the move was inevitable.

"What the deal does is create a great platform for growth. It is good for our shareholders and colleagues, customers and clients too."

She said the company is now going to be Barclays Africa Limited.

"We are going to be a Pan-African group, operating in eight countries. But in South Africa, our retail business will continue to be Absa."

Ramos said it would be in the minority shareholders' benefit to vote in favour of the deal.

"It is a transaction that is well-structured and competitively priced. We are acquiring portfolios, which are very mature, across eight countries. There is very minimal integration risk."

The operations will be in Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.

Ramos also acknowledged that Barclays went through a tough year after its CEO Bob Diamond resigned due to the rate-rigging scandal.

"Barclays is an incredible and well-cherished brand. What happened this year was regrettable, but the values of the company are being concentrated on."