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KenolKobil shares hit by Puma pullout claim

BUSINESS
By - | December 14th 2012

By Moses Michira

KenolKobil shed 8.5 per cent to Sh13.50 on Thursday as investors rushed to exit the counter following fresh information that its suitor in a planned buyout deal had halted pursuing the transaction.

The counter recorded massive sell-off, mainly from retail investors who had increasingly got jittery about the collapse of a planned buyout deal by Swiss-based petroleum multinational Puma Energy.

The anticipated buyout has in the past months heightened investor interest in KenolKobil’s shares as Puma was expected to offer a premium price to acquire stock held by minority investors, in a deal that would have culminated in the delisting of the petrol station chain from the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

Andre D’Simone, the managing director at a transaction advisor, Kestrel Capital, said investors needed to exercise extra caution while dealing with the oil marketer’s stock but could not confirm on the progress of Puma’s takeover bid.

“Investors should be very cautious in trading on this stock but as far as I know, the negotiations are still ongoing,” said D’Simone.

“I can’t say for sure how far they (negotiations) are though.” KenolKobil has however refused to issue a clarification or statement on the progress of the buyout that has largely flopped, even as speculation on the deal continues to influence price volatility. This is after a senior employee of the firm talked to The Standard earlier in the week, revealing the reasons for Puma Energy’s pullout.

Puma Energy spokesperson Victoria Dix declined to give an indication on the buyout for the second time yesterday. The multinational had announced that it would complete the due diligence on the oil marketer by the end of September as it pursued the much publicised buyout deal that has roused investor interest.

The collapse of the deal will have major implications on shareholders of the NSE listed company, who had bet on the buyout to exit and reap windfall gains from the sale.

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