The strategic combination of the majority of Barclays Africa operations with Absa Group Limited (“Absa”) cleared a crucial hurdle today when Absa minority shareholders overwhelmingly voted in support of the transaction. Shareholders also approved the change of name of the JSE-listed entity from “Absa Group Limited” to “Barclays Africa Group Limited” to reflect the enlarged nature of the business. The change of name would take effect once the transaction closes, which is expected in the first half of 2013 subject to the required regulatory approvals and fulfilment of other conditions precedent.
Once completed, Barclays Africa Group Limited will hold 100% of the shares in Barclays Africa Limited, the proposed holding company for the in-scope businesses as outlined in the Circular to Shareholders dated 14 December 2012.
Absa Group Chief Executive Maria Ramos said after the shareholders vote: “This is an exciting and transformational deal that will create a high-quality franchise in Africa with a leading network of more than 1 300 outlets and 10 400 ATMs across ten countries. The vote of confidence from Absa’s independent shareholders today is an important milestone in our journey towards becoming the ‘Go-To’ bank across Africa.”
The combined, JSE-listed business will serve approximately 14.4 million customers and employ around 43 000 people across ten countries.
Results of the General Meeting:
- Ordinary Resolution to approve the proposed transaction: 96% in favour. For purposes of the JSE listing requirements, the votes of Barclays Bank PLC and its associates are excluded
- Special Resolution to approve the change of name: 99% in favour
- Special Resolution to approve the allotment and shares in issue: 98% in favour
- Ordinary Resolution to grant authority to give effect and implement all the resolutions: 99% in favour.