MyBucks to sell 45pc stake to Zambian entity

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MyBucks Group has entered into an agreement with Xtenda Finance Limited, a Zambia microfinance entity founded by former BancABC Group executives for the sale of 45 percent of its Zambian subsidiary for US$2,7 million after Dr Rajan Mahtani, an indirect shareholder reportedly failed to meet the deadline for payment of a call option.

Xtenda is owned by DBF Capital Partners and its shareholders are Mr Douglas Munatsi, Francis Dzanya and Beki Moyo.

The deal would give Xtenda, 100 percent shareholding in MyBucks Zambia after an earlier agreement which was entered into in June 2020 to buy 55 percent stake for US$3,3 million.

Both transactions are subject to approval by the central bank of Zambia. Banker, George Manyere, is the majority shareholder in MyBucks Group through his JSE-listed Ecsponent Limited.

In a note released by Mybucks yesterday, the company will dispose of the 45 percent shareholding in Mybucks Zambia to Xtenda for US$2,7 million.

In June last year, MyBucks announced that it had completed, subject to approval by regulatory authorities in Zambia, the sale of 20 percent of Ecsponent Financial Services, trading as MyBucks Zambia to Xtenda.

At the same time, Ecsponent Limited and Barkat Ali, former chief executive of Mybucks Zambia, also sold their 25 percent and 10 percent shareholding in Mybucks Zambia, respectively.

For all the transactions, Ecsponent Limited and Barkat Ali and Xtenda have now extended the long-stop date to obtain necessary regulatory approval to March 31, 2021.

Following the above sale, MyBucks was left with a shareholding of 45 percent in MyBucks Zambia, which was subject to a call and put option between MyBucks and Finsbury Investments Limited, a Zambian company whose group executive chairman is Dr Mahtani.

The agreement had an expiry date of December 31, 2020.

Dr Mahtani is an indirect shareholder of the company through his interest in Leighlinbridge Limited which is the holder of approximately 15 percent of shares in the capital of Mybucks Group.

On December 22, 2020, Finsbury irrevocably exercised the call option for it to acquire the 45 percent stake in MyBucks Zambia and set a completion date of January 14, 2021 for payment of the consideration.

However, Finsbury failed to complete the transaction on the set date.

“Accordingly, MyBucks has entered into a sale and purchase agreement with Xtenda whereby MyBucks shall sell the 45 percent stake in MyBucks Zambia to Xtenda,” said MyBucks Group.

In response to recent press reports saying Mr Manyere had been booted out in MyBucks Zambia, the company said:

“The company has noted with disappointment recent incomplete media reporting relating to confidential correspondence with regulatory authorities in Zambia.

“MyBucks rebuts this incomplete coverage in the strongest possible terms. MyBucks remains committed to complete its corporate restructuring and ensure the financial health of the Company going forward,” it said.

MyBucks sold MBC Mozambique to Xtenda in a transaction worth US$14 million as part of the restructuring process initiated by Mr Manyere through the Mybucks board after he took control in March 2019.

The restructuring exercise had also seen the company selling stakes in its operations in Spain, Poland, Austria, South Africa, Kenya, Botswana and Uganda.

Meanwhile, ESW Investment Group (ESW), the investment bank owned by Mr Manyere has received an approval from the Eswatini Stock Exchange (ESE) to list an E1 billion (US$67,1 million) domestic medium term note to grow the company’s loan book.

The funds raised will be used to grow the company’s loan book through some of its subsidiary lending operations, including GetBucks Eswatini Proprietary Limited and First Cred Limited in Botswana.