By John Oyuke
The airline has also announced major changes to boost revenue, meet shifting demand and keep costs in control after its net profit for the year ended March 31 dropped 50 per cent to Sh1.6 billion from last year’s Sh3.5 billion.
After the Rights Issue, which commenced trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange last week, the Government shareholding rose from 23 per cent to 29.80 per cent, while that of the other main shareholder KLM, increased marginally from 26 per cent to 26.73 per cent.
Although the total Kenyan shareholding (the Government and local investors) declined from 62.8 per cent to 55.24 per cent, the airline still retains its national carrier designation as minimum local shareholding required is 51 per cent.
Foreign shareholders now control 44.76 per cent shareholding, compared to 37.20 per cent previously.
The foreign segment saw entry of heavyweights such as International Finance Corporation, the private-lending arm of World Bank, which now owns 9.56 per cent of the airline. The corporation subscribed for shares worth over Sh2 billion.
Speaking during the bell-ringing ceremony to signify the start of trading in the Rights Issue shares, Finance Permanent Secretary, Joseph Kinyua, said the fact that the Rights Issue garnered over 70 per cent subscription rate in a difficult environment was testament of the confidence shareholders continue to have in the airline.
The cash call netted Sh14.49 billion against a target of Sh20.68 billion.