Sanctioned Zimbabwean businessman Kudakwashe Tagwirei has teamed up with the government, institutional investors and an assortment of bankers to establish Zimbabwe’s largest financial services group through the merger of CBZ Holdings Limited and First Mutual Holdings Limited (FMHL).
FMHL is a leading financial services group based in Zimbabwe, which actively operates through its subsidiaries, First Mutual Life, First Mutual Health, Nicoz Diamond Insurance and First Mutual Reinsurance.
The merger comes after CBZ, one of Zimbabwe’s largest financial services conglomerates, acquired a 31.22-percent stake in FMHL from the 66.22-percent stake held by the National Social Security Authority (NSSA).
Although the NSSA will remain the single largest shareholder in FMHL, the acquisition paves the way for the formation of a $2.5-billion financial services behemoth in Zimbabwe.
The post-merger entity to be created through the acquisition will rival Old Mutual Zimbabwe, a leading diversified financial services group with more than 100 years of experience.
The deal will involve the consolidation of prominent financial institutions in Zimbabwe, including CBZ Holdings, ZB Financial Holdings, FMHL and First Mutual Properties.
The merger and consolidation process will be led by CBZ Chairperson Marc Holtzman, a U.S. international banker.
Aside from the Zimbabwean government and the bankers that will take part in the transaction, Tagwirei, who has shares in entities involved in the merger, will render support for the process.
Last year, the NSSA disposed of its 37.79-percent stake in ZB Bank to Tagwirei, who already owned a stake in CBZ.
The merger will see Tagwirei buy out ZB’s second-largest shareholder, Nicholas Vingirai. However, Vingrai said he has not been approached and has yet to receive an offer for his stake in ZB.
The NSSA’s decision to offload shares in CBZ aligns with its statement earlier this year that it will reduce its shareholding in FMHL to create a strategic alliance around its subsidiary.
The agency believes the new project will be similar to entities in Nigeria, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and Southeast Asia, operating in the banking, insurance, mining and agriculture.
CBZ directors advised shareholders that the merger and FMHL share acquisition will substantially impact the price of the companies’ securities.