Carlyle partners with Bob Diamond in pursuit of Barclays Africa assets

(via CityWirePrivate equity giant Carlyle Group is joining forces with former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond (pictured), in his pursuit of the bank’s African arm.

Barclays announced in its full-year results in March that it is to offload its African banking arm as it looks to streamline the business and focus on core assets.

It is understood that Carlyle and Diamond, who resigned from the bank amid the Libor scandal in 2012, are lining up a joint bid, according to Sky News.

No firm bid has been tabled as yet people close to the situation are cited as saying, but Diamond has been looking for investment opportunities in Africa since setting up his Atlas Merchant Capital vehicle in 2013.

Barclays has a 62% majority stake in Barclays Africa Group Limited (BAGL), which is listed in Johannesberg. Besides South Africa, it has a presence in several countries across the continent, including in Tanzania, Botswana and Kenya, making it one of the largest banking conglomerates operating there.

It is not yet known whether Diamond and Carlyle Group will look to acquire Barclays’ entire stake or look to snap up individual country assets.

Meanwhile, new Barclays chief executive Jes Staley has come under fire from investors over the company’s investment banking operation. Reports over the weekend suggest that key institutional investors are frustrated with his plans and are also asking why its investment banking bonus pool only fell by 10% when Barclays’ share price has fallen by 34.5% over the last 12 months.


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