Atlas Mara Limited ("Atlas Mara" or the "Company"), the sub-Saharan African financial services group, is pleased to announce that, following the statement in its Q3 results released on 29 October 2015 that it was in advanced discussions, it has now reached an agreement to acquire 100% of Finance Bank of Zambia Plc ("FBZ"), subject to selected conditions precedent and requisite regulatory approvals.

    As previously noted, FBZ is currently Zambia's 6th largest bank.  During its thirty year history and roots as an independent Zambian financial institution, FBZ has created a formidable retail franchise.  As at 30 June 2015, it had approximately $261 million of assets, $127 million of loans, $181 million of deposits and $59 million of equity.  It has 63 branch locations and over 800 employees.  In addition to corporate and retail banking, FBZ operates successful leasing finance, micro finance and mortgage finance subsidiaries, which will also form part of the potential transaction.

    Atlas Mara will acquire FBZ for approximately $60 million in cash and 2.6 million Atlas Mara shares (this may increase to $61 million in cash and up to 5.7 million Atlas Mara shares, subject to a number of conditions, including the Zambian Kwacha/US Dollar exchange rate at closing and the meeting of specific future profitability targets).  Upon completion of the transaction, which is expected in Q1 2016, the combination of FBZ with Atlas Mara's Zambian subsidiary, African Banking Corporation Zambia Limited ("BancABC Zambia"), will result in the creation of Zambia's largest bank by branch network and fifth largest bank by assets with combined assets of approximately $418 million.

    John F. Vitalo, Atlas Mara's CEO said: "We are highly enthusiastic about Zambia's long-term prospects and our ability to play a leading role in the development of financial services there.  Creating the largest branch network in the country will facilitate Atlas Mara's goal of increasing financial inclusion and position us to provide our customers with enhanced access to an expanded suite of innovative products, such as our recently announced co-branded fuel card with Puma Energy, our "e-voucher" program for small farmers, and our pre-paid disbursement cards for pensioners.  The acquisition of FBZ is another important step in the execution of Atlas Mara's strategy to build sub-Saharan Africa's premier financial institution, in part, by becoming a scale participant in our countries of operation, which this transaction will achieve for us in Zambia."


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