TORTOLA, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS--(Marketwired - Oct 15, 2014) - Atlas Mara Co-Nvest Limited ("Atlas Mara" or the "Company") has completed its previously announced acquisition of the Development Bank of Rwanda's ("BRD") newly formed Commercial Bank.

With this acquisition, Atlas Mara has broadened its footprint into the fast growing East African Community. Atlas Mara has appointed Konde Bugingo to be the CEO of the new Commercial Bank. He joins from RSwitch, Rwanda's national payments switch, where he was CEO. Prior to that, he was COO of Banque Populaire du Rwanda ("BPR"), Rwanda's second largest bank.

The Commercial Bank has been formed following an internal reorganisation of BRD, which transferred most of its existing commercial banking assets and liabilities into the newly incorporated Commercial Bank. It is expected that the Commercial Bank will receive a full commercial banking license once certain conditions are satisfied.

John Vitalo, CEO said: "The acquisition of BRD's Commercial Bank is a significant milestone for Atlas Mara. It is our third closing, following the acquisitions of BancABC and ADC, and expands our presence in the vibrant East African Community in which Rwanda is well-positioned as an important financial services hub. Rwanda has been an exemplar of the economic possibilities of Sub-Saharan Africa and BRD has been a key part of that growth. I am looking forward to working closely with Konde and his team to build upon BRD's strong foundations and assist in the further economic and financial development of Rwanda and the region."

Notes to Editors

About Atlas Mara

Atlas Mara was formed by Bob Diamond, Founder of Atlas Merchant Capital LLC and Ashish J. Thakkar, Founder of Mara Group Holdings Limited, and listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange in December 2013.

Atlas Mara's strategy is to create sub-Saharan Africa's premier financial institution through a combination of its experience, expertise and access to capital, liquidity and funding and to support economic growth and strengthen financial systems in Africa.

For more information, visit the Company's website at

About BRD
The Development Bank of Rwanda is a Public Limited Liability Company created on August 5, 1967. BRD is a development finance institution dedicated to becoming "the financier of Rwanda's development". BRD's vision is, "To be the leader of productive investment and be the most profitable Bank at the service of poverty reduction". BRD provides long-term financing to the private sector and offers a range of products including loans, leasing, mortgage financing, and trade finance.

About Konde Bugingo
Konde previously served as CEO of RSwitch for 2 years. RSwitch is Rwanda's national payments switch, which enables electronic payment settlements. During his time there, he spearheaded the transformation of the company through the creation and execution of a strategic plan that led the business from losses to profits and, ultimately, the successful sale of the company to Millicom at an attractive return for RSwitch's shareholders. Prior to RSwitch, he was COO at BPR, Rwanda's 2nd largest bank, for 3 years. Before joining BPR, Konde worked in the United Kingdom as a financial and management consultant at Michael Page, a Senior Analyst at Sony Europe, and a Corporate Finance Analyst at BMW. He earned a BA in Economics from Oxford Brookes University and a Masters in Finance & Management from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom.

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