Standard Group targets to raise Sh1.5 billion through rights issue

Panoramic view of the Standard Group's converged newsroom. [File, Standard]

The Standard Group has announced plans to raise Sh1.5 billion through a rights issue, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

The move aims to strengthen the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE)-listed company’s balance sheet and capitalise on digital growth opportunities as part of an ongoing reorganisation by the media firm in a changing operating environment. 

The company’s board of directors authorised the rights issue at a meeting on June 28.

The proceeds will be used to “restructure its balance sheet to be able to take advantage of emerging future opportunities for the business in a digital era,” according to a statement signed by company secretary Victoria Cherotich. 

The firm views the rights issue as a key element of its new long-term strategy.

A rights issue is an offer to existing shareholders of a company to buy additional new shares, giving the shareholders securities called rights.

It is a way for the company to raise additional capital to fund its objectives without going for expensive options such as debt.

The new shares offered in the rights issue are at a discount to the prevailing market price, and give the shareholders a chance to increase their stake in the company. 

The shareholder is not obligated to purchase the additional shares and can opt out, with the likely result that their shareholding in the company would be diluted. 

Standard Group is a multimedia Kenyan company with investments in various platforms such as print operations, television, radio, digital media, and courier services.  

The listed company runs some of the leading print, television, radio, and digital channels in the country. 

They include The Standard and The Nairobian newspapers, and radio stations Radio Maisha, Spice FM, Vybez and Berur. 

The group also runs KTN Home and KTN News television stations besides digital services, including e-paper, the standardmedia.co.ke website, digger classifieds and value-added services.  

The statement said the funds raised from the rights issue will allow Standard Group to strengthen and restructure its balance sheet. 

This will re-establish an appropriate level of equity capitalization, said the company in a notice to shareholders.  

It will also help the company to navigate economic challenges and invest in growth. 

The capital will help the company weather current economic headwinds while funding essential capital expenditure projects for business transformation. 

The board believes the rights issue is crucial for the company’s future success and long-term shareholder returns. 

However, shareholders will wait for the rights issue information to be published. 

“Investment decisions should be based solely on information contained in the official information memorandum, to be published at a later date,” Ms Cherotich said.

The Standard Group board early this month named Marion Gathoga-Mwangi as the new chief executive Officer with effect from July 15, 2024. 

Ms Mwangi takes over the reins of Standard Group from her predecessor Joe Munene who has held the position on interim since July 6, 2023. 

She is an accomplished senior executive with over 26 years of local and international experience in commercial, operations excellence and general management in multiple sectors.

Before her appointment, she held executive roles with The Linde Group companies, African Oxygen Pty and BOC Kenya.

She serves as a non-executive director at leading companies including BAT Kenya, BOC Kenya and the Kenya Association of Manufacturers.

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