African Alliance has invested in logistics firm Atlas Development and Support Services Ltd to become the fifth largest shareholder in the cross-listed company.
Atlas Development, which is cross-listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and the London Stock Exchange, said that African Alliance Asset Management had bought close to six per cent ownership in the company.
“Atlas Development, the Kenyan headquartered African focused support services and logistics company, received notification on July 7, 2015 that following the acquisition of 4,269,356 shares in Atlas Development on July 6, African Alliance Asset Management is now interested in 23,694,356 shares, representing 5.47 per cent of the issued share capital and voting rights of the company,” said a notice to regulators.
African Alliance Asset Management is part of South Africa’s African Alliance Group and operates in Kenya, Uganda, Lesotho and Botswana.
Other large shareholders are the US Global Investors Fund with a 15.59 per cent stake, Beyond Africa Fund Ltd (13.66 per cent), Michael Pelham (7.62 per cent), Green Cay Asset Management (5.69 per cent) Sustainable Capital Ltd (4.82 per cent) and JM Finn & Co Limited (3.99 per cent).
Atlas Development services oil, gas and mining companies in the region and north Africa and has seen an increase in local shareholding since late 2014.
In late 2014 the company carried out a private placement that ceded a 10 per cent stake to Kenyan investors for Sh450 million. The firm then listed on the NSE’s Growth Market Enterprise Segment.
Atlas Development plans to buy out a number of companies as part of its expansion strategy.
The unfavourable oil market has meant firms servicing explorers have to diversify operations. Frontier Services Group (FSG), another logistics firm that is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, entered the Kenyan market with an eye on the oil and gas sector. It has also diversified into other areas.
FSG, associated with ex-Blackwater founder Erik Prince, announced in April that it had bought Cheetah Logistics SARL, a Congolese logistics firm, in a deal that will see it get access to the central and West African transportation markets.