Capital Markets

AccessKenya picks Kestrel to advise on buyout price


AccessKenya directors ring the bell to start trading of the stock at the NSE. Dimension Data has expressed interest to acquire 100 per cent of AccessKenya at Sh14 per share. FILE

AccessKenya has hired stockbroker Kestrel Capital to advise on valuation of the company and help in assessing whether the acquisition price of Sh14 per share offered by South African firm Dimension Data is a good deal.

The telecommunications firm director for strategy and special projects, David Somen, told shareholders at an annual general meeting on Monday the report by Kestrel is expected to be ready in the next one month and will be sent to shareholders.

Dimension Data’s offer price values AccessKenya at about Sh3 billion, and is 40 per cent above the firm’s initial public offering (IPO) price of 2007.

A shareholder who bought the stock at Sh36 in secondary trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) complained on Monday that the offer by Dimension Data would occasion him loss. 

“The board did not set the price, the board will only make a decision after we have received a report from the financial advisors we have appointed, we will communicate to you within the next four weeks individually,” said AccessKenya chairman Daniel Ndonye.

Daniel Muchiri, who bought his share at Sh36, said he wanted AccessKenya’s management to negotiate the price upwards.

“I don’t agree that the Sh14 offered is the best price since I bought the share at Sh36 and selling them at the offer price will be big loss for me,” said Mr Muchiri.

Scores of shareholders who bought their shares above the Dimension Data offer price supported Mr Muchiri and urged the board to reject it.
Dimension Data has expressed interest to acquire 100 per cent of AccessKenya at Sh14 per share.

(Read: Firm puts in Sh3bn takeover bid for AccessKenya)

“I urge the board to look for another formula of arriving at a better price for example getting an average of the highest and the lowest level the share has ever traded since the firm was listed, this would bring the price to Sh20 or there about,” Mr Muchiri added.

AccessKenya will pay its shareholders a dividend of 0.30 per share held in August.

Dimension Data has meanwhile applied to the Ministry of Information for exemption of the 20 per cent local ownership rule, which requires all technology firms to have at least a fifth of their shares owned by Kenyans.

Information permanent secretary Bitange Ndemo on Monday said the ministry has received the application but it has not yet been approved.

“Dimension Data has applied for an exemption of the 20 per cent rule. We have not approved it since the Cabinet secretary needs some time to go through it,” said Dr Ndemo.

Dimension Data has, however, signed an agreement with one of the founder-brothers of the firm, Jonathan Somen, that in the event that the government does not grant the exemption, Somen will own a 20 per cent stake of the company post the take-over.