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Diamond’s Atlas Mara Backed by Trafigura, Morgan Stanley

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Sept. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Robert Diamond’s Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Ltd., seeking to fund financial-services acquisitions in Africa, counts Trafigura Beheer BV and Morgan Stanley among its largest shareholders.

Trafigura, which trades commodities, owns more than 6 percent of Atlas Mara’s stock, according to its most recent regulatory filing in London today, while Morgan Stanley holds 5.4 percent. Other shareholders include U.S. investment companies Wellington Management Co. LLP and Janus Capital Management LLC and Diamond himself, with a 2.3 percent stake, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Atlas Mara started trading on the London Stock Exchange’s main market on Aug. 26, which prompted its biggest shareholders to disclose their stakes. The company raised $325 million in an initial public offering last December. It went back to the market in May to raise $300 million to fund acquisitions, including ABC Holdings Ltd., ADC African Development Corp. and the Development Bank of Rwanda.

Trafigura is a 25 percent shareholder in ADC, and it’s stake in Atlas Mara is as a result of that holding, according Victoria Dix, a spokeswoman for the Dutch company. Morgan Stanley and Janus Capital didn’t respond to e-mailed requests for comment.

Atlas Mara has an option, expiring Sept. 7, to buy a stake in an African financial-services company that it didn’t identify in another filing today.

The shares have dropped 8.3 percent since they resumed trading on Aug. 26. They fell 2.7 percent to $10 as of 3:43 p.m. in London, giving the company a market value of $719 million.

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

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