Ac­tivists net Sh30m Unga shares af­ter buy­out flops

The trio now has enough stake to block Seaboard’s plans to have miller delisted from the NSE

Business Daily (Kenya) - - CORPORATE NEWS - Vic­tor Juma vjuma@ke.na­tion­media.com

Unga Group’s mi­nor­ity in­vestors who re­jected a Sh40 per share buy­out from Delaware-based con­glom­er­ate Seaboard Cor­po­ra­tion have bought ad­di­tional shares of the miller worth Sh30 mil­lion, en­hanc­ing their in­flu­ence in the Nairobi Se­cu­ri­ties Ex­change (Nse)-listed firm.

Rakesh Gadani and in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors BID Port­fo­lio Man­age­ment and Sayani In­vest­ments are among the share­hold­ers who bought more Unga shares, ac­cord­ing to Au­gust reg­u­la­tory fil­ings seen by the Busi­ness Daily.

The trio alone now has a com­bined 10.29 per cent stake, enough to block Seaboard’s plans to have the miller delisted from the NSE at a share­holder meet­ing whose date is yet to be an­nounced.

Sayani made one of the largest pur­chases of 518,400 shares in the four months ended Au­gust, rais­ing its stake to 2.18 per cent while BID Port­fo­lio bought 226,100 units in a move that in­creased its eq­uity to 3.46 per cent.

Mr Gadani bought 3,700 shares and marginally en­hanced his own­er­ship to 4.65 per cent.

Seaboard in July an­nounced that a sec­tion of Unga share­hold­ers had agreed to sell 12.2 mil­lion shares, rais­ing its stake in the miller to 18.97 per cent from the pre­vi­ous 2.92 per cent.

This fell short of the 24.07 per cent eq­uity it was tar­get­ing in or­der to take Unga pri­vate with the help of the Philip Ndegwa fam­ily, which has a 50.93 per cent in­ter­est in the com­pany.

De­spite the out­come, Seaboard said it would later call for a spe­cial meet­ing to have Unga delisted from the NSE.

The mi­nor­ity in­vestors, who de­scribed the multi­na­tional’s buy­out of­fer as un­der­valu­ing the com­pany, have boosted their power to block the delist­ing plan.

Ac­cord­ing to Kenya’s se­cu­ri­ties law, a delist­ing res­o­lu­tion can be passed by a sim­ple ma­jor­ity at a meet­ing where share­hold­ers hold­ing a com­bined stake of at least 75 per cent are rep­re­sented in per­son or through prox­ies.

Such a res­o­lu­tion can nonethe­less be nul­li­fied if in­vestors with a 10 per cent eq­uity or more vote against it.

— FILE

STAKE Unga Group board mem­bers dur­ing a past an­nual gen­eral meet­ing at the KICC .

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