Barclays changes to First Capital Bank Ltd

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BERNARD MPOFU

THE Registrar of Companies has approved Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe’s name change to First Capital Bank Ltd effectively concluding the take-over of one of the country’s iconic banking institutions by its new shareholders.

Last year British-headquartered sold its stake in its Zimbabwean operation for $60 million to First Merchant Bank of Malawi putting to an end to months of a fierce bidding war to take over one of the country’s iconic institutions.

Barclays Bank Plc, which held 67,68 percent shareholding in the local unit said it was disposing of its African assets including Zimbabwe to focus on British and American markets. The remaining 32 percent of Barclays Zimbabwe’s shares are traded on the local bourse.

According to given timelines, the bank will start dual brand to FMBBarclays during the third quarter of this year and will eventually change its name to First Capital Bank in 2019.

The bank would be dually listed in Malawi and Mauritius. The final stage of the transaction, according to well-placed sources will be FMB transferring its shareholding in non-Malawi financial institutions such as Capital Bank Limited of Botswana, Capital Bank South Africa, Mozambique and First Merchank Bank Zambia to FMB Capital Holdings Plc.

“I hereby certify that Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Limited having, with the sanction of a special resolution of the said company and with any approval changed its name, is now called First Capital Bank Limited, reads a certificate of change of name dated August 7,” 2018 which was undersigned by the registrar of companies.

Shareholders approved the name change at an extraordinary general meeting held in July this year. Tongaat Hullet chief executive Sydney Mtsambiwa has since been appointed the new chairman of the bank, taking over from Anthony Mandiwnaza who retired together with other board members like Canaan Dube.

The announcement to sell the majority stake in Barclays Zimbabwe triggered a stampede as several potential investors positioned to take over the bank.

The deal, which was negotiated by prominent corporate lawyer Addington Chinake of Kantor and Immerman, was finally signed after 24 bidders mostly lowly ranked financial institutions expressed interest in the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange listed bank.

The other attorneys involved were Norton Rose Fulbright and Baker McKenzie of London. Other bidders included an investment vehicle co-owned by former ABC Holdings executive chairman Doug Munatsi, State Bank Mauritius and Adylwich LLC. Former Barclays Bank Zimbabwe managing director George Guvamatanga was also interested in taking over the bank.

Barclays Bank Zimbabwe was established in 1912, and has operated in the country continuously since then, making it a landmark feature on the local financial services landscape.

The listed bank has nearly 1000 employees and a countrywide network of 38 branches across the country.