| LONDON, Sept 13
LONDON, Sept 13 A consortium including former
Barclays chief Bob Diamond remains in the hunt to buy a stake in
the British lender's African business, sources with knowledge of
the matter said on Tuesday, despite the withdrawal of Carlyle
Diamond is looking to acquire Barclays' remaining 50 percent
stake in Barclays Africa Group Limited via his
investment vehicle Atlas Merchant Capital, following the British
lender's decision in March to sell down its holding in the
The consortium comprises a group of "committed long-term
strategic investors", Diamond said in April, and the sources
said Carlyle's exit from the group would not jeopardise its
interest in pursuing the acquisition.
Carlyle's withdrawal from the consortium is related to the
departure in May of the private equity group's financial
services head Olivier Sarkozy, the sources said.
Carlyle declined to comment. Barclays declined to comment.
As well as trying to find a buyer for the Africa business,
Barclays retains the option to sell its shares in Barclays
Africa in chunks via a so-called accelerated bookbuild, or in
the open market via the Johannesburg stock exchange.
Barclays sold a 12.2 percent stake in its Africa unit on May
4, as part of a plan to deconsolidate the holding from its
accounts by reducing it to below 20 percent by March 2019.
The bank is able to launch another similar selldown
following the expiry in August of a 90-day lockup period after
the May transaction, but sources close to Barclays said the bank
is in no hurry to complete the sale this year.
Bankers at the time said the May share sale drew strong
interest, with the order book 3.5 times oversubscribed, in an
indication of investor interest in the Barclays Africa business.
South Africa, where Barclays Africa makes the bulk of its
revenues, ended fears of a recession in the second quarter as
the mining and manufacturing sectors reversed sharp contractions
due to an uptick in exports.
Barclays Africa shares were trading at 147 rand on Tuesday,
well above the 126 rand at which Barclays sold its initial stake
(Reporting by Lawrence White; editing by Susan Thomas)