Barclays halves stake in Absa via R10.38bn stake sale

The firm priced an accelerated placing of 63 million shares at R164 each, according to a statement Thursday.
Image: Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg

Barclays Plc has sold a 7.4% stake in former African unit Absa Group for 526 million pounds, cutting its holding by half.

The firm priced an accelerated placing of 63 million shares at R164 each ($10.88), according to a statement Thursday. That was a 7.3% discount to the Johannesburg-listed stock’s Wednesday close. Barclays gathered enough investor orders to cover the sale within minutes of opening the book, terms seen by Bloomberg showed.

Read: Barclays looks to sell $740m stake in Absa

Barclays had a 15% holding in the African lender before the sale. The British bank, which has had a presence in Africa for more than 100 years, has been reducing its stake in Johannesburg-based Absa in recent years. It sold off much of its controlling stake in the group — then-Barclays Africa Group — in 2017.

The placing is estimated to result in an increase of approximately 10 basis points to Barclays’ CET1 ratio — a key measure of capital strength — as of Dec. 31, 2021.

The net proceeds from the deal will be used for the group’s general corporate purposes, Barclays said in the statement. The bank’s remaining 7.4% stake in Absa is now subject to a lock-up restriction, which applies until 60 days after settlement.

Read: Absa still losing customers

Barclays, Absa, Citigroup Inc., Banco Santander SA and Societe Generale SA are arranging the sale.

© 2022 Bloomberg

$1 = R15.03

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