Barclays, Absa Miss First Deadlines on African Asset Transaction

Absa Group Ltd. (ASA), the South African bank buying the bulk of Barclays Plc (BARC)’s African assets, said the transaction’s initial timetable no longer applies.

“While good progress continues to be made, the indicative corporate actions timetable in the circular is no longer applicable,” Johannesburg-based Absa said in the statement today, saying the deal remains subject to regulatory approvals. “It is still expected that the transaction will be completed within the dates allowed for under the sale and purchase agreement,” the company said, adding that it will publish a revised timetable later.

According to the timetable in a notice dated Dec. 14, information about Absa’s name change was to be published today, with the lender to be renamed Barclays Africa Group Ltd. on April 15. Absa shareholders in February approved the 18.3 billion-rand ($2 billion) all-share offer for most of Barclays’s African assets, which would have also increased the London-based bank’s stake in Absa to 62.3 percent from 55.5 percent.

If regulatory approvals aren’t obtained by June 6, Absa or Barclays may terminate the transaction, according to the Dec. 14 notice, unless both parties agree to extend the closing date by a maximum of 90 days.

To contact the reporter on this story: Renee Bonorchis in Johannesburg at rbonorchis@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net

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