Plum Holdings, a company associated with Equity Bank chairman Peter Munga, has opened talks to acquire an additional 23.34 per cent shares in the regional insurer Britam Holdings Ltd.
The government of Mauritius is selling the shares, previously owned by Mr Dawood Rawat, to help compensate victims of a scandalous scheme orchestrated by the businessman last year.
The stock was seized in April 2015 when it emerged that the Mauritian businessman was defrauding citizens through a Ponzi scheme. The development threw the Britam stock on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) into a free fall with its value halving from a high of Ksh28 ($0.27) per share to trade at Ksh14 ($0.13) per share as at last week.
The purchase of 452.5 million additional shares will bring Plum Holdings’ shareholding in Britam to 38.54 per cent (747.06 million shares).
But the Plum Holdings owners, most of who own stakes in Britam through related companies and associated persons, say they have no intention of taking over the Kenyan insurer, but are keen to give the company and its shareholders time to identify a strategic investor who would drive the business forward.
“The proposed offeror has no intention of taking over Britam and will seek an exemption from the Authority from compliance with Regulations 4 of the Capital Markets (Take-Over and Mergers Regulations) Regulations 2002 on the grounds that granting the exemption shall serve the wider interests of Britam’s shareholders and the public generally,” said Peter Munga, the Plum Holdings manager.
The transaction is still subject regulatory approvals —Capital Markets Authority (CMA) and Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA).
British- American (Kenya) Holdings Ltd (BAKHL) is the single largest shareholder of Britam Holdings Ltd, which is wholly owned by British American Investment Company (Mauritius), a company registered in Mauritius.
Britam Holdings Ltd formerly British- American Investments Company (BAIC) is headquartered in Kenya with regional operations in Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, South Sudan and Malawi.