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First Merchant Bank in talks to acquire stake in Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe

First Merchant Bank Ltd. said March 28 that it is in exclusive discussions with Barclays Plc unit Barclays Bank Plc to potentially acquire its interests in Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe Ltd.

A spokeswoman for Barclays confirmed that the lender is in early talks with a potential buyer for its 68% stake in Barclays Bank of Zimbabwe, Reuters reported the same day.

First Merchant Bank added that it has been advised by three of its principal shareholders, collectively representing 55% of the lender's issued capital, that they intend to transfer their shares in the bank to FMB Capital Holdings Plc, a company incorporated in Mauritius, in exchange for shares in the latter. Subsequently, FMB Capital Holdings intends to make an offer on the same terms to acquire the remaining 45% of First Merchant Bank by way of an offer document.

Upon conclusion of the offer period, an application will be submitted to the Malawi Stock Exchange to list the shares of FMB Capital Holdings and delist the shares of First Merchant Bank.