Chris Kirubi to acquire 49.99% Centum shares

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Chris Kirubi Centum
Chris Kirubi: PHOTO/COURTESY: The Star

The capital markets regulator has allowed billionaire businessman Christopher J Kirubi to acquire up to 49.99 percent shares of Centum Investment Company PLC, without having to make a mandatory takeover offer to other shareholders.

The exemption, pursuant to Regulation 5(1) of the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) Takeovers & Mergers Regulations, 2002, will see Mr. Kirubi progressively raise his shareholding in Centum from the current 30 percent threshold in open market transactions. Mr. Kirubi sits on the board of Centum as a director and has been a key shareholder of the company for more than 20 years.

“This intended additional acquisition is my strong vote of confidence in the future prospects and long-term strategic direction of the company,” Mr. Kirubi said in a statement.

He added that his target is to acquire the additional shares subject to their availability in the open market. The exemption to acquire additional shares without triggering a mandatory takeover offer is in line with the CMA’s policy initiative of encouraging unrestricted demand for shares in publicly listed companies, which helps in price discovery of listed stocks.

The CMA also aims to enable shareholders to continue to publicly support companies that they are already invested in, while facilitating increased market liquidity.

“Mr. Kirubi is a renowned investor with many years of hands-on experience, his additional investment in Centum is an affirmation of his confidence in the company’s progressive performance,” said the Centum CEO Mr. James Mworia in a statement.

“This is also good news for our stock market, especially coming at a time when the Coronavirus pandemic has created uncertainties, it is an indicator that investors with a long term outlook need not hold back from participating in the bourse,” he added.

The exemption has been granted on the condition that all trading in Centum shares shall continue to be in compliance with all regulatory requirements relating to insider trading. Centum is East Africa’s leading investment company, listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and Uganda Securities Exchange. The company provides investors with access to a wide portfolio of inaccessible, quality, diversified investments.

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