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