Absa Group Limited confirms that it received notice that Mr Pravin Gordhan, South Africa’s Minister of Finance, has approved the combination of the majority of Barclays Africa operations with Absa. This follows overwhelming support for the strategic transaction from Absa minority shareholders in February.

Maria Ramos, Chief Executive, Absa, Chief Executive Africa, Barclays said: “We welcome the approval by Minister Gordhan. This is an important milestone in the transaction in furtherance of our One Africa strategy and reflects South Africa’s commitment to creating the right conditions and climate for foreign investment into the country and the continent.”

Absa and Barclays are committed to satisfying the outstanding conditions relating to the proposed transaction.

As announced on 5 April 2013, Absa will announce a revised transaction timeline in due course and expects that the transaction will be completed within the dates allowed for under the sale and purchase agreement between Absa, Barclays Africa and Barclays plc. The combined, JSE-listed business would serve approximately 14,4 million customers and employ around 43 000 people across ten countries.