Companies

Kirubi eyes Bayer and Mosanto EA stake deal

Businessman Chris Kirubi (centre) with ministers Adan Mohamed (left) and Najib Balala at a past function. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA
Businessman Chris Kirubi (centre) with ministers Adan Mohamed (left) and Najib Balala at a past function. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA 

Businessman Chris Kirubi has revealed that he holds a 45 per cent stake in agrochemical firm Bayer East Africa that is globally and locally in the process of merging with agricultural biotechnology company Mosanto.

Leverkusen-based Bayer Group is set to acquire Missouri-based Mosanto in a $62 billion (Sh6.2 trillion) cash deal that includes the takeover of the latter’s Kenyan subsidiary.

The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) has approved the buyout of Mosanto Kenya by Bayer’s investment vehicle Bayer AktiengesellscharlKWA Investment Company, according to a notice in the Friday Kenya Gazette.

Mr Kirubi told the Business Daily that he and his partner Bayer Group plan to merge the local subsidiaries, a move that will give him an interest in the combined entity.

“I don’t know what I will own (in the merged business). We are yet to work out those figures,” Mr Kirubi said in an interview.

“I currently own 45 per cent of Bayer East Africa,” he added, declining to disclose the value of that stake.

Bayer is acquiring Mosanto to create a global agricultural giant. Mosanto is one the leading suppliers of seeds in Kenya and around the world, a strength which Bayer wants to add to its specialty in agrochemicals, including pesticides.

The merger is expected to boost Bayer’s market share in the agricultural space, generating synergies, higher earnings and giving it access to a broad portfolio of products, research and development.

Bayer East Africa, which has a factory in Ruaraka, Nairobi, supplies seeds and insecticides to farmers growing wheat, maize, fruits and coffee, among other crops.

The company also produces pharmaceuticals and sells its products throughout the East African region.

The Mombasa Road-based Mosanto Kenya is a leading supplier of hybrid seed brands in large-acre crops like maize, cotton, and oilseeds (soybeans and canola), as well as small-acre crops like vegetables.

Mr Kirubi described the acquisition as positive for Bayer, describing Mosanto as a successful agricultural biotechnology company.

“We are part of the (Bayer) international group so the benefits will also accrue to us,” he said.

In approving the Bayer-Mosanto deal, the CAK said it would not affect competition negatively and neither will it lead to any negative public interest issues.

Mr Kirubi owns vast stakes in local companies through his Centum #ticker:ICDC vehicle or individually. He has done some of the largest deals in the Kenyan economy recently including sales at Two Rivers, UAP and Kenya Wine Agencies.