Barclays Africa's Talks With Parent on Egypt, Zimbabwe Fail

  • African unit, Barclays end negotiations over transactions
  • Unit CEO Ramos says disappointed that deal didn't work out

Barclays Africa Group Ltd., the Johannesburg-based lender controlled by Barclays Plc, said talks to buy Egyptian and Zimbabwean operations from the parent ended after they couldn’t agree on price.

The two sides failed to agree on terms after “extensive discussions” and decided not to proceed with the proposed combination, Barclays Africa said Thursday in a statement.

Barclays first bought into the Johannesburg bank in 2005 and seven years later agreed to sell its operations in eight African countries to what used to be called Absa. Barclays Africa Chief Executive Officer Maria Ramos said last year the next step was to buy the units in Egypt and Zimbabwe. In March, she said a deal would be done at a competitive price. Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins was ousted in July with Chairman John McFarlane running the London-based bank until Jes Staley took over on Dec. 1.

“While we are naturally disappointed that we were not able to agree commercial terms with Barclays Bank Plc, a decision had to be taken in the best interests of our stakeholders, including our minority shareholders,” Ramos said in a separate e-mailed statement. The bank remains focused on its current portfolio, she said.

Barclays Africa dropped 2 percent to 153.01 rand as of 3:07 p.m. in Johannesburg, while the U.K. lender rose 0.5 percent to 236 pence in London.

“Barclays Africa has demonstrated that it has a very disciplined approach when making any acquisitions,” said Adrian Cloete, banks analyst at PSG Wealth in Cape Town. “Shareholders can therefore take a lot of comfort in the fact that Barclays Africa will only make future acquisitions when it’s accretive to shareholders.”

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