Diamond’s Atlas Mara Eyes Three More Africa Acquisitions in 2015

Atlas Mara Ltd., the banking group that’s acquiring African lenders, is seeking to buy as many as three more businesses in 2015, co-founder Robert Diamond said.

“We hope before the end of the year to announce two or three more transactions,” Diamond said in a Bloomberg Television interview in New York with Stephanie Ruhle on Tuesday.

Atlas Mara, started in 2013 by Diamond, the former chief executive officer of Barclays Plc, and Ugandan entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar, acquired ABC Holdings and ADC African Development Corp. last year and bought a stake in Union Bank of Nigeria Plc. The group is present in seven African countries.

“Africa is open for business,” Diamond said. “They want investment. It’s fun, it’s a lot of hard work. But it’s really important that it’s open for business. Not many emerging economies with this potential allow foreign investment into banks and majority ownership.”

Atlas Mara is in talks to buy Finance Bank Zambia Plc, people familiar with the process have said. It’s considering bidding for a stake in Mozambican lender Moza Banco SA, people familiar with the matter have said.

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