•The move will raise his shareholding in Centum from the current 30 per cent threshold.
•Centum is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and Uganda Securities Exchange.
Billionaire investor Chris Kirubi has received the green light to acquire additional shares in Centum Investment Company.
The Capital Markets Authority(CMA) has allowed Dr Kirubi to acquire up to 49.99 per cent shares of Centum , without having to make a mandatory take-over offer to other shareholders.
The exemption, pursuant to CMA takeovers and mergers regulations, will see Dr Kirubi progressively raise his shareholding in Centum from the current 30 per cent threshold in open market transactions.
Dr Kirubi sits on the board of Centum as a director and has been a key shareholder of the company for more than 20 years.
“This intended additional acquisition is my strong vote of confidence in the future prospects and long-term strategic direction of the company,”Kirubi said in a statement on Monday.
He added that his target is to acquire the additional shares subject to their availability in the open market.
The exemption to acquire additional shares without triggering a mandatory takeover offer is in line with the CMA’s policy initiative of encouraging unrestricted demand for shares in publicly listed companies, which helps in price discovery of listed stocks.
The CMA also aims to enable shareholders to continue to publicly support companies that they are already invested in, while facilitating increased market liquidity.
“Dr Kirubi is a renowned investor with many years of hands-on experience. His additional investment in Centum is an affirmation of his confidence in the company’s progressive performance,” said the Centum CEO James Mworia.
He said the move is positive for the stock market as it shows investor confidence despite the Coronavirus pandemic creating uncertainties.
“It is an indicator that investors with a long term outlook need not hold back from participating in the bourse,” Mworia said.
The exemption has been granted on the condition that all trading in Centum shares shall continue to be in compliance with all regulatory requirements relating to insider trading.
Centum is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange and Uganda Securities Exchange.
The company provides investors with access to a wide portfolio of inaccessible, quality, diversified investments.
This is the second major move by the billionaire who in 2013 made an offer to buy 32.65 million additional shares in Centum Investment worth Sh832.8 million, pushing his ownership to 29.9 per cent from 24.99 per cent.
The deal raised his stake in the investment firm to nearly Sh5 billion.