British banking group Barclays has received the go-ahead from South Africa’s finance ministry to offload its remaining stake in its Barclays Africa Group (BAGL).
Through an accelerated bookbuilding process, Barclays will sell 187 million shares that are equivalent to a 22% stake in BAGL.
Public Investment Corporation (PIC), a pension fund in South Africa, has confirmed plans to act as an anchor investor in the placing and will buy 59 million shares, equivalent to a 7% stake in BAGL,
“As previously announced, Barclays’ intention is to divest its shareholding in BAGL to a level which will permit Barclays to de-consolidate BAGL from a regulatory perspective and, prior to that, from an accounting perspective. This Placing further progresses Barclays’ intentions in both these respects,” the British lender said in a statement.
The latest deal will dilute Barclays’ stake in the African subsidiary to nearly 28%. Barclays plans to eventually reduce its long-term shareholding in the African unit to around 15%.
Barclays CEO Jes Staley said: “Regulatory approval for the separation of Barclays and Barclays Africa is an important step forward and allows us to move closer to our goal of reducing our shareholding in Barclays Africa to the point where we can achieve regulatory deconsolidation.”
Barclays announced plans to shutter its African operations in 2016. In May last year, the bank sold a 12.2% stake in Barclays Africa to institutional investors, thereby reducing its stake in the African unit to 50.1%.