TOUGH TIMES

TransCentury seeks exit NSE, seeks new funding

The listed by introduction at the NSE in 2011

In Summary

•The Board of TransCentury has passed a resolution recommending to the Company Shareholders to consider and approve the delisting from the NSE.

•Its subcidiaries East African Cables and engineering and construction company-Civicon are struggling with business.

A section of TransCentury's Civicon Limited workshop in Mombasa./
A section of TransCentury's Civicon Limited workshop in Mombasa./
Image: COURTESY

Cash-strapped investment firm, TransCentury is seeking to voluntarily delist from the Nairobi Security Exchange (NSE) as woes at some of its subsidiaries continues to hurt its bottom line.

The company which listed by introduction at the NSE in 2011, yesterday said the decision is in line with the ongoing strategic initiatives.

These are delivery of commercial opportunities and driving pipeline growth, debt re-profiling to match cashflows, fundraising to unlock growth and accelerating execution of emerging opportunities.

 

The firm's board has passed a resolution recommending to the Company Shareholders to consider and approve the delisting from the NSE, it said in a statement.

Chief executive officer Nganga Njiinu said the Group has made significant progress across all its businesses in delivering robust commercial opportunities and in debt re-profiling, over 90 per cent of the debt has been successfully restructured.

This, he says, has strengthened the balance sheet, allowing more cash to be redirected to working capital.

The focus now remains attracting funding that is aligned to the Group strategy to be able to realize full value from opportunities at hand, he said.

A significant source of such capital however remains unavailable to the business while it remains listed, including the fast-growing pools of sector-specific capital targeting private, non-listed businesses, Njiinu said.

“While we have seen liquidity reduce in the capital markets across the region, we have also seen an increase in funding that is available for private, non-listed businesses, especially in the sectors that we focus on,” said Njiinu.

He said the firm has received interest from potential financiers who would provide capital that is structured in line its strategic plan. 

“We, therefore, want to position the business to access these additional sources of growth capital to be able to capitalize on the great opportunities we have created in the last three years,” Njiinu said.

He said in addition to accessing funding for the Company, TC board and management envisions delisting will provide the Company the opportunity for quick actions on strategic interventions and to refocus more resources to execution of strategy and accelerating growth.

“The decision to delist from the NSE is in line with the next phase of our strategy. This, however, does not change our business mandate and we will continue to engage and deliver value to all our stakeholders,”  Njiinu said.

If approved, all the issued ordinary shares of the company comprising 375,202,766 shares of par value Sh0.50 each shall be de-listed from the official list of the Alternative Investment Market Segment of the NSE.

Its shares was trading at an average Sh1.76 yesterday around 12.33 PM.

The Group subsidiaries include East African Cables, Civicon Ltd, AEA Ltd (formerly known as Avery East Africa) ,Tanelec Ltd (based in Arusha, Tanzania) and Kewberg cables and braids (based in South Africa).

East Africa Cables has been facing liquidation.

A decision by SBM Bank (Kenya) to consider a debt settlement and restructuring plan however saved the company.

The loss-making cable manufacturer had defaulted on a Sh285 million loan.

Other lenders seeking their monies include Ecobank which recently sought to recover Sh190 million, part of a Sh350 million credit facility extended to the company between 2011 and 2013.

Engineering and construction company-Civicon closed shop in Uganda in 2018.

Its Kenyan operations are also on the downwards amid non-payment of salaries and suppliers who have engaged auctioneers to recover their monies.

The Group’s activities(firms) are around manufacturing, engineering, construction and logistics .

During the year ended 31 December 2018, TransCentury Group’s and company’s liabilities exceeded assets by Sh10.362 billion and Sh386 million, respectively.

The company was established in 1997 by a group of Kenyan professionals and investors.

In April 2009, the company's shares became available to qualified investors in an over-the-counter exchange operated by Dyer & Blair Investment Bank.