Financial services provider Sasfin Holdings says talks with investor Arise have been called off due to market volatility related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The deal would have led to Arise owning a minority stake in Sasfin, with the capital amount expected to be about R200m, Sasfin said in response to questions.

“The deal is called off completely. The parties have however ended discussions on good terms,” said Sasfin.

Sasfin said in November that Arise was considering taking a stake in the group, though it had not provided details. Its shares rallied 13.31% after the announcement.

Arise is backed by three anchor investors: Norfund, owned by the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs; Dutch financial services group Rabobank; and FMO, a Dutch development bank which invests in emerging markets.

Arise aims to partner with sustainable locally owned financial services providers in Sub-Saharan Africa who are “searching for a way to keep their independence but need financial expertise and long-term capital to prosper”.

Its investment portfolio includes financial services businesses in Africa, including Togo-based pan-African banking group Ecobank, commercial banks dfcu Bank in Uganda and CalBank in Ghana.

Sasfin’s share price after the close of market on Monday was  3.57% higher to trade at R14.50. In morning trade is was up 6.43% to R14.90, on track to break a nine-session losing streak. The group’s share price has fallen 48.57% so far in 2020, compared to a 37.5% fall in the JSE's financial index.


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