Centum ups Longhorn shareholding to 60 per cent

Investment firm Centum will not bid to takeover Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed Longhorn Publishers, after acquiring a controlling stake for Sh390 million. 

The firm confirmed Friday it had upped its stake from 31.25 per cent to 60 per cent following Longhorn’s recently concluded rights issue that saw it raise Sh533 million.

Centum, which is also listed in the Nairobi bourse, had prior to the cash call said it would bid for a majority stake in Longhorn effectively making it the largest shareholder.

“Following the recently concluded rights issue by Longhorn and with the approval of the Competition Authority of Kenya, Centum has acquired effective control over Longhorn by acquiring 118,314,853 new shares,” said Centum in a regulatory notice on Friday.

Prior to the rights issue, Centum had 45,699,225 ordinary shares in Longhorn, representing a 31.25 per cent stake. The firm now directly holds 164,014,078 ordinary shares, a 60 per cent stake.

“Centum does not intend to make a takeover offer for Longhorn and has applied to the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) for an exemption,” the firm said.

According to CMA rules, a person or firm with effective control of a listed company – holding  more than 25 per cent or acquires more of the voting shares – and has no intention of making a take-over offer for the company must issue a public announcement declaring his lack of intent thereof and file for exemption from the regulator.

Longhorn Publishers had offered 126 million newly created shares to existing shareholders at a rate of 0.86 shares for every share held, with a target to raise Sh530 million.