Former Barclays chief executive Bob Diamond is set to return to the City at the head of a new African banking company, which is set to float in London.
Diamond (pictured) is raising $250 million (£153 million) for Atlas Mara, a cash shell, which is aiming to buy a controlling stake in an African financial services firm, and has already secured significant institutional backing, according to the Financial Times. Diamond is partnering with Ashish Thakkar, the founder of African conglomerate Mara Group, to launch the venture.
After leaving Barclays last July following the Libor rigging scandal, Diamond set up New York-based merchant bank Atlas Merchant Capital and the financier is understood to be keen to tap into the opportunities in Africa.
Both Atlas Merchant Capital and Mara, which has a presence in 19 African countries across a number of sectors, will take significant stakes in the shell company with the remainder of the cash coming from institutional investors.