A memorandum of understanding was signed yesterday with the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) to buy the assets of the commercial operation once it has been spun off from the development arm of the business.
The deal was signed in Rwanda on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the country’s genocide.
Diamond, who co-founded Atlas Mara with African entrepreneur Ashish Thakkar, said in a joint statement on Rwanda’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning website that “Rwanda is a model economy that will continue to benefit from the engagement of the private sector.
“Much of the change of the last twenty years can be attributed to the leadership of the government and I am excited to be associated with this development,” he said.
Thakkar said: “Rwanda is a country that holds a very special place in my heart. It is remarkable that today we signed this MoU, with BRD, a great bank, with even greater potential. I am proud to have this opportunity to play a role in creating access to capital for the millions of young Rwandan entrepreneurs like me."
Finance and Economic Planning Minister Claver Gatete said that the Government of Rwanda is committed to privatisation as it “attracts foreign direct investments, gives investors good business opportunities and also boosts economic growth”.
Atlas Mara also agreed last week to buy a majority stake in Botswana-based financial services company BancABC in a mix of cash and Atlas Mara shares equating to around $265m.
In December last year, Atlas Mara Co-Nvest raised $325m in a London stock market flotation, with Diamond investing $16m of his own cash alongside Thakkar, who put in $4m of funding.