“The consortium has committed long-term strategic investors. The funding is in place. There is support for this potential transaction,” Diamond told investors in the London-listed African based bank, Atlas Mara, which he formed after being forced out of Barclays in the wake of the Libor-rigging crisis in 2012.
Diamond’s involvement in the consortium, which includes the private equity firm Carlyle, was revealed in a stock market announcement by Atlas Mara after days of speculation about his interest in trying to buy shares in Barclays’ African business.
Barclays will face questions about its plans to reduce its 62.3% stake in Barclays Africa - which is listed on the Johannesburg stock exchange and has interests in banks across the African continent - when it publishes its first quarter results on Wednesday.
Diamond did not provide details about the size of any offer for the Barclays African operations, but he is expected to need to raise around $5bn (£3.5bn).
Barclays’ new boss Jes Staley announced last month he wanted to cut the 62.3% stake in the African business to reduce the complexity of its operations and to save capital.
Atlas Mara, which has operations in seven African countries, indicated that it expected to be taken over by the the consortium if a deal was struck.
“In the event that the consortium reaches a definitive agreement with Barclays in relation to Barclays Africa, it is expected that Atlas Mara will enter into substantive discussions about the potential combination with the consortium,” Atlas Mara said.
“Given the significant complexity and early stage of the discussions with the consortium, there can be no assurance that the transactions discussed above, including the potential combination, will be completed.”
Diamond is working on the consortium with Ashish Thakkar, whose Mara conglomerate also backed the creation of Atlas Mara.
Atlas Mara is worth a third of what it was when it was floated in December 2013.
This article was written by Jill Treanor, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 26th April 2016 18.33 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010