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IFC acquires Sh12.2 billion stake in Equity Group

By Frankline Sunday | Dec 27th 2021 | 2 min read
By Frankline Sunday | December 27th 2021

Britam Holdings has sold Sh12.2 billion worth of shares in leading Kenyan lender Equity Group to the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

The deal, revealed through a regulatory notice by Equity Group Holdings (EGH), now gives the investment arm of the World Bank a 6.7 per cent share of the lender.

“EGH was notified that on December 24, 2021, Britam Holdings and Britam Life Assurance Company (Kenya) entered into a share purchase and sale agreement with International Finance Cooperation (IFC) and IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund LP whereby, subject to the approval of the Capital Markets Authority, IFC agreed to acquire by way of a private transaction, 164,521735 shares constituting an equity stake of approximately 4.36 per cent as at December 22, 2021,” said the notice.

“IFC FIG Fund agreed to acquire 88,588,626 shares (constituting an equity stake of approximately 4.36 per cent as at December 22, 2021) held by Britam and Britam Life in EGH.”

IFC already owns 10.37 per cent of Britam and the latest deal gives the investment unit a stronger hold on the country’s financial services sector.

It also puts the IFC among the top shareholders of Equity Group.

According to Equity's annual report for the year ended 2020, the top shareholders include Arise BV founded by Rabobank, Norfund, NorFinance and FMO, which owns 452 million shares of the lender translating to 11.99 per cent stake valued at Sh21.9 billion.

Other top investors listed include Stanbic Nominees with 131.9 million shares valued at Sh6.4 billion, and the firm’s Managing Director James Mwangi whose 127.8 million shares give him a 3.3 per cent stake valued at Sh6.1 billion.

Earlier this year the IFC said it intends to make an equity investment of approximately $90 million (Sh999 million) in Liquid Intelligent Technologies, as part of a rights issue for existing shareholders.

In addition to the proposed transaction, IFC has also subscribed for $100 million (Sh1.1 billion) Liquid Intelligent Technologies bond issuance and approved a $75 million (Sh8.3 billion) loan facility for the tech firm.

The IFC also announced a Sh16.9 billion financing package with KCB Bank Kenya to strengthen the lender’s capital base and facilitate more funds to lend towards businesses affected by Covid-19.

Pending completion of the proposed transaction between the IFC and Britam, the notice advised shareholders of EGH and other investors to exercise caution when dealing in the firm’s shares.

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