PIC, SA Investors Talk With Barclays Behind The Scenes For 10% Stake

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Written by Staff

From BusinessDayLive. Story by Bloomberg.

A group of South African investors plan to make an offer for 10 percent of the shares in Barclays Africa Group, a person familiar with the matter said.

The consortium, which includes PIC — the Public Investment Corporation, Africa’s biggest money manager — is set to meet Barclays next week, said a person who asked not to be identified. The investors will push for a discount on Barclays Africa’s current share price as the divestment coincides with a deterioration in South Africa’s economy, the person said.

London-based Barclays is preparing to initially sell 10 percent of its African unit to several large investors, while keeping open the option to divest its entire holding. The British lender, which owns more than 62 percent of the South African bank, said on March 1 it was retreating from the continent, where it has had a presence for more than a century, as part of a plan to raise cash, shrink globally and lighten its capital burden.

PIC, which manages most of the South African government’s pension fund money and oversees more than $66.77 billion US, already holds 5.6 percent of Barclays stock. PIC said in January it would be interested in a larger stake in Barclays Africa. The bank’s presence in 12 countries across the continent would help the PIC’s African expansion plans, the money manager said at the time.

Barclays Africa has a market value of $7.6 billion, according toBloomberg. Barclays bought a controlling stake in the South African bank in 2005 for $2.2 billion.

Read more at BusinessDayLive.