Wednesday 4 May 2016 7:30 pm

Barclays' plans to offload 12 per cent of its Africa business won't affect talks with former chief executive Bob Diamond

Barclays' plans to sell off a 12 per cent stake of its African business has not derailed talks between the bank and it's former chief executive Bob Diamond, City A.M. understands. 

"It doesn’t make the slightest jot of difference," a source with knowledge of the early-stage negotiations told City A.M. 

Atlas Merchant Capital, the US-based arm of Bob Diamond's banking investment vehicle, Atlas Mara, has teamed up with US-based buyout group Carlyle to bid for Barclay's 50 per cent controlling stake in Barclays Africa. 

It's understood Diamond also has the backing of several sovereign-wealth funds. Talks between the consortium and the bank are still in early stages, however. 

Barclays revealed in a statement today it will sell off 12.2 per cent of its share capital in Barclays Africa, leaving it with a controlling 50 per cent stake.

The South African-based Public Investment Corporation is acting as the anchor investor in the placing, buying about 10 per cent of the shares on offer (which equates to a 1.2 per cent stake in the company). 

Barclays is seen as one of the great western finance success stories in Africa, where the company has been building a business since 1925: at the moment it employs 45,000 people across the continent.

But in results posted at the beginning of March, chief executive Jes Staley confirmed plans to spin-off the business as part of "regulatory ring-fencing requirements"

Barclays is acting as sole global co-ordinator and joint bookrunner along with UBS, Citigroup Global Markets and JP Morgan Securities.

In a statement today, Staley said:

This is an important first step as we seek to reduce our shareholding in Barclays Africa to a level that achieves accounting and regulatory deconsolidation.

As we said at our  first quarter results, we continue to explore opportunities to reduce our shareholding, including capital market and strategic options.

Barclays Africa is an important partner, and we are working closely with local management, including planning for the operational separation of the two businesses in a way that will preserve value for shareholders in both the Barclays and Barclays Africa groups.

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