Carlyle Group acquires $147m equity in Diamond Bank

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Carlyle (CG) Group LP has invested $147 million in Diamond Bank Plc as it seeks to expand in Africa’s largest economy.

Carlyle, the world’s second-largest manager of investment alternatives to stocks and bonds, bought the stake through its sub-Saharan Africa Fund at the recently held rights issue by Diamond Bank, Bloomberg quoted that bank to have said in a statement.

The Carlyle fund has invested almost $300 million in sub-Saharan countries including Nigeria, Mozambique, Zambia, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2011, Diamond Bank said.

Diamond Bank had sold shares in August as it sought to raise N50.4 billion ($284 million) for investment in infrastructure, branch expansion and lending.

However, Diamond Bank share price was unchanged at N5.50 per share on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), valuing the lender at almost N80 billion.

The stock has declined by 21 per cent this year compared with the 18 per cent retreat by the NSE All-Share Index.

Carlyle Group, based in Washington, has $203 billion of assets under management, Diamond Bank said.

New York-based Blackstone Group LP is the largest alternative-asset manager.

Carlyle’s private equity business has been one of the largest investors in leveraged buyout transactions over the last decade.

Since its inception, Carlyle has completed investments in such notable companies as Booz Allen Hamilton, Dex Media, Dunkin’ Brands, Freescale Semiconductor, Getty Images, HCR Manor Care, Hertz, Kinder Morgan, Nielsen, and United Defense.

The firm has more than 1,400 employees including 650 investment professionals, with offices in 33 countries globally.

Carlyle has investments in over 200 companies and more than 250 real estate investments. Carlyle’s portfolio companies employ more than 650,000 people worldwide.

Diamond Bank announced last week that the rights issue was 100 per cent subscribed.

8,685 million ordinary shares were issued, which raised the bank’s current number of outstanding shares to 23,160 million.

“The successful rights issue clears the capital overhang which has surrounded Diamond Bank over the past 24 months.

“Overall, we believe this should be viewed as positive news for Diamond in an environment where macro concerns continue to dominate and capital regulations for the Nigerian banks have tightened significantly.

“Considering that Actis divested of its stake during the rights issue period, we look forward to seeing the post-rights shareholding structure and any updates on board composition,” Adesoji Solanke of Renaissance Capital had said.

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