If the top team at Absa want to determine their group’s future, they’d better start moving. Colourful ex-Barclays Plc CEO Bob Diamond is looming large as the new owner after taking another big step in acquiring the for-sale African businesses of his former employer. News from London is that Diamond has enlisted the support of the powerful New York headquartered Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity firms controlling $185bn in assets. With Carlyle joining a growing group of his financial supporters, the $5.5bn price tag for 62% of Barclays Africa now looks to be within Diamond’s reach. Given the lofty ambitions of his Africa-focused Atlas Mara, co-founded with Ugandan/Dubai entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar (net worth $260m), Diamond knows this is a once off opportunity. And although Barclays Plc has stated that it is prepared to slowly sell down its525m shares in the JSE-listed subsidiary, that will take many years at the current level of trading. Letting the block go in a single transaction is obviously a preferable outcome. – Alec Hogg here.
Many will remember the massive Barclays Libor rate fixing scandal when Bob Diamond was at the helm. "Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond has resigned a week after the bank was fined a record amount for trying to manipulate inter-bank lending rates" from here. Bob slithered away into relative oblivion. Those with a good memory, will also remember Bob checked out with an eye wateringly large cheque and pension package. No criminal proceedings, as is the norm when a bankster does wrong, but as the saying goes 'you can't keep a good man down'
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