By Jackson Okoth
Listed investment firm TransCentury Limited is seeking shareholder approval to sell off three of its subsidiaries.
In a notice to shareholders, the board has listed a number of transactions that it will require shareholders to ratify. This includes the disposal of its 34 per cent shareholding in Rift Valley Railways (RVR), held by its Mauritanian subsidiary Safari Rail Company Limited. It sold its shareholding in RVR to Ambience Ventures Limited for $43.7 million (Sh3.8 billion). This deal was concluded in March 2014.
Under special business during the company’s AGM to be held on May 29, 2014, shareholders will also ratify sale of TransCentury’s Crystal Limited, 95 per cent shareholding in Chai Bora Limited to Catalyst Holdings - a deal concluded last year at $5.2 million (Sh 447 million). TransCentury also sold its entire shareholding in Chai Bora Group to Catalyst in 2013 for $4 million (Sh344 million).
Shareholders will also be approving a plan by TransCentury to acquire minority shareholding held by Aureos East Africa Fund in East African Cables in exchange for shares of the company by way of a share swap, a transaction that is to be concluded on May 31, 2014.
In the financial year ended December 31, 2013, TransCentury saw its net profit drop from Sh740.6 million in 2012 to 626.4 million in 2013.
TransCentury has been on a selling spree since 2013, apparently building its war chest for more acquisitions. The company has subsidiaries in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and South Africa. In recent years, it has grown from the diapers of an investment club to a prime mover in the investment, infrastructure and engineering industries in Eastern Africa.