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Puma Energy plots mandatory takeover of KenolKobil

BUSINESS
By Macharia Kamau | May 16th 2012

By Macharia Kamau

Puma Energy, the Swiss firm bidding for a majority stake in KenolKobil, has expressed interest to buy all the stocks held by minority shareholders in the Kenyan oil marketing company, which would mean a 100 per cent takeover.

A communiqué from KenolKobil to partners and shareholders issued Monday said Puma Energy also plans to buy off minority shareholders through a mandatory general offer.

KenolKobil last week said Puma Energy had entered into exclusive talks with key shareholders for the sale of a majority shareholding.

While the deal is yet to get approval and due diligence by Puma Energy, buying off both the minority and major shareholders would see KenolKobil delisted from the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

Mandatory offer

“Puma Energy intends to pursue 100 per cent takeover where minority shareholders would have an option to sell their shares through a mandatory general offer at the same price as majority shareholders,” said Jacob Segman, chairman and managing director of KenolKobil.

“This is expected to take between six to eight weeks. Also happening simultaneously is the process of applying for necessary approvals from regulatory bodies needed to conclude the deal,” said Segman.

The firm’s shares were last Tuesday suspended indefinitely from trading at NSE to curb speculative buying and selling.

Three major shareholders of the oil marketing company jointly own 54.71 per cent shareholding. These are Wells Petroleum (24.91 per cent), Petroholdings Ltd (17.34 per cent) and Highfield Ltd (12.46 per cent).

The oil marketer has in the last years grown to have the largest retail network of fuel outlets, with a market share of 25 per cent as of December last year, according to statistics from Petroleum Institute of East Africa, an oil marketers’ lobby.

Extend footprint

KenolKobil has 400 service stations across the country. It also operates in 10 other African countries, mostly eastern and central Africa.

The takeover is expected to help KenolKobil get expertise from the company that has its roots in South America. It is, however, Puma Energy that stands to gain immensely through an increased footprint as well as market for its products.

The firm has in the recent past been aggressively pursuing a growth and expansion strategy in Africa and so far has operations in 13 African countries, where it runs storage facilities and retail outlets.

The Geneva-based Puma Energy was formed in 1997 in Central America and has over the last decade developed what it says is “a comprehensive network of oil storage and distribution facilities” across the world. It has a presence in over 29 countries worldwide with over 2,000 employees.

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