Barclays Cancels Bid to Buy Bank Windhoek on Absa Africa Merger

Barclays Plc (BARC) postponed a bid to buy a controlling stake in Namibia’s Bank Windhoek from Capricorn Investment Holdings Ltd. (MRI) until it completes a transaction that will combine its African business with that of Absa Group Ltd.

Barclays and Johannesburg-based Absa announced talks on Aug. 21 to merge their African units and complete a plan that started seven years ago. The combination will affect assets in Kenya, Botswana, Zambia, Tanzania and Ghana, the companies said. Barclays, based in London, bought 54 percent of Absa in 2005 for $4.5 billion to expand in emerging markets.

“Barclays and CIH have agreed to terminate negotiations about Barclays acquiring a controlling stake in Bank Windhoek,” the lender said in an e-mailed statement. “Barclays remains open to possible future discussions with CIH once the proposed combination of the majority of Barclays African businesses with Absa is further progressed.”

Namibia’s central bank approved Barclays’ acquisition of a stake in Bank Windhoek in June, after declining a bid for the lender by Absa last year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephen Gunnion in Johannesburg at sgunnion@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vernon Wessels at vwessels@bloomberg.net

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