By Morris Aron
“We expect the outcome of the due diligence and subsequent regulations to be satisfactory,” said kenolKobil in a statement Managing Director, Jacob Segman, signed.
KenolKobil said that the two firms have been meeting market regulators in Kenya and Switzerland to obtain the necessary approvals.
The planned takeover ran into headwinds after a group of employees went to court over fears of job security.
Suspended from trading
Kenolkobil’s shares were suspended from trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange after its major shareholders entered into exclusive talks for the sale of their shareholding to Puma Energy, a subsidiary of Trafigura Beheer.
Capital Markets Authority took the decision, stating that the take-over needed to be addressed first before being allowed to trade at the NSE, as the take-over could result in KenolKobil being a private company.
Later, the suspension was lifted after consultations, although the issue of the employees is still a subject matter of a court directive.
Mandatory general offer
KenolKobil had earlier told its partners and shareholders that Puma Energy plans to buy off minority shareholders through a mandatory general offer. The deal is reportedly worth $500 million (Sh42 billion.)
But while the takeover talks and approvals get under way, last week Kenol Kobil reported a record loss of Sh5.68 billion before tax. It attributed the fall to foreign exchange losses when the shilling strengthened, rising cost of sales, sharp fall of international fuel prices, and downward price adjustments by regional market regulators.