London, Lusaka – DLA Piper has advised the Government of the Republic of Zambia on the sale of 49% of the shares in the Zambia National Commercial Bank Plc (Zanaco) to Dutch financial services giant Rabobank for an undisclosed sum. Zanaco is the largest state owned bank in Zambia and also the country’s largest consumer bank, with more than 50 branches across the country and over 1,100 employees. The privatisation is part of a government led programme of economic reform, which is intended to encourage greater private ownership and to expedite the development of the country’s financial services sector.
Following financial and legal close of the transaction (which is still subject to local regulatory approval), the Zambian government will offer 25.8% of the shareholding to the Zambian public and local institutions. The remaining 25% stake will continue to be owned by the Zambian government.
DLA Piper was pleased to assist the Zambian government, acting through the Zambia Privatisation Agency, with all aspects of the transaction. Alan Barnett, senior associate in the London office and Grant Henderson, Legal Director for Africa, based in Lusaka, together led the multi-jurisdictional legal team advising on the deal. PricewaterhouseCoopers acted as financial advisers for the government with Corpus Globe providing local legal support. Rabobank were advised by their internal legal team and Zambian law firm Mulenga Mundashi & Co.
Charles Morrison, head of DLA Piper’s Africa Group said: “The consummation of this transaction and related investment by Rabobank clearly support and further substantiate the recently published view of the Executive Committee of the International Monetary Fund that, Zambia’s prospects for robust economic growth in the years ahead continue to look favourable.”