The blessing of the UK courts, and the regulatory green stamp, is all that stands between Africa’s largest bank by market value, the JSE-listed FirstRand, and popping the champagne cork on its biggest overseas foray — the R20bn takeover of British high-street bank Aldermore. In recent days, more than 95% of Aldermore’s shareholders voted to accept FirstRand’s offer of 313p/share to buy the bank — more than the 75% needed. The next step is that the UK Prudential Regulation Authority, Financial Conduct Authority and the SA Reserve Bank must put their stamps of approval on the scheme. It’s a big deal for FirstRand and will push its overseas profits from 5% to 12% of its total. But some analysts are wary, particularly as it follows a string of disasters from SA-based firms going overseas to "diversify" their profits. The worst such deal was Brait’s takeover of UK high-street retailer New Look for R37bn in 2015. This ended in tears, with Brait writing down the entire business to zero thi...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.