HomeBusiness DigestPanama group eyes stake in Tetrad Bank

Panama group eyes stake in Tetrad Bank

AAY Investments Group, a Panama-based venture capital fund, has expressed an interest in acquiring a stake in Tetrad Investment Bank (TIB), businessdigest can reveal.

Kudzai Kuwaza

The group has investments in various countries around the world including Australia, Belgium, Chile, Canada, France, Greece, Mexico and South Africa.

In a letter to Tetrad Holdings finance director Thomas Chimanda, dated April 13, AAY project enquiries director Sam Davis said they were interested in acquiring a stake in the bank and seeking an extension of the judicial management of the bank to allow them to carry out a due diligence exercise for 90 days.

In his letter to Chimanda, Davis said it was imperative to get an extension to ensure that the expenses they would incur as a result of the due diligence exercise “will not be in vain”.

He said they would require the engagement of lawyers and accountants who are experts to carry out the exercise on their behalf. Davis added that preliminary discussions with these experts indicated that 90 days was usually required for such an exercise.

Tetrad provisional judicial manager Winsley Militala, who received the letter through Chimanda, said although the bank has been given 30 days to find an investor from the 11th of March, he had communicated their request to the central bank for direction.

Acting MD, Eugene Mlambo, told businessdigest this week that AAY’s interest was a result of their efforts to find alternative investors due to delays by Horizon Capital Consortium Holdings (HCCH)to consummate the deal with the bank.

“We have not been sitting waiting just for Horizon. The creditor’s problem with the Horizon transaction is that it is taking time,” Mlambo said. “We have told them (Horizon) that we have to look for alternatives. We are not saying that is the answer. We are saying we have finally spoken to an institution that has expressed interest.”

He said the bank would also carry out a due diligence exercise on AAY.

Mlambo said the bank had been referred to AAY by a colleague in Europe and he was the one facilitating communication between the two parties.

The development comes at a time there are sharp differences between the bank’s shareholders and Militala over his report on the bank to creditors.

At a creditors’ meeting held on Wednesday to determine whether the financial institution should undergo liquidation or final judicial management, Mlambo strongly disputed the report, accusing Militala of being biased and totally ignoring submissions management had made to the report.

Militala has recommended that the bank undergo liquidation, a proposal also strongly dismissed by HCCH local representative Munyaradzi Kereke at the meeting, who said there is an “exuberant intent” to finalise the deal.

This was after Militala pointed out in his report that while the deal promised to yield the desired investment, HCCH has not shown a bankable commitment.

According to suggestions at the meeting, creditors could get as little as two cents for every dollar should the bank undergo liquidation. None of the creditors at the meeting seemed keen on pursuing the liquidation route, signalled by the applause that met every suggestion that spoke against taking that route.

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