Two-year window gives Munga upper hand in sale of Britam stock


Businessman Peter Munga during a past interview with the Business Daily. PHOTO | FILE

The allowance of a two-year sale window has given billionaire investor Peter Munga an upper hand in selecting the strategic investor who will acquire a 23.3 per cent stake of Britam Holdings, which the businessman is set to acquire from the government of Mauritius.

The businessman says he will later this month purchase the extra shares –which were seized from disgraced former director and top shareholder Dawood Rawat— to give the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm enough time to get a suitable investor.

The government of Mauritius accused Mr Rawat of running a Ponzi scheme in the island nation and is liquidating his assets to compensate his victims.

The purchase of the shares, with a current market value of Sh6.1 billion, will raise Mr Munga’s stake in Britam to 40.2 per cent in what will make him the single largest shareholder with influence to pick the desired strategic investor.

The Mauritian government had indicated that it was targeting Sh9 billion from the Britam stock sale, even though Mr Munga has not disclosed the transaction price. He is expected to pay some premium on the market value.

READ: Munga makes Sh9 billion bet on Mauritian's Britam shares

Mr Munga’s current ownership in the insurer, through various investment vehicles, currently stands at 16.96 per cent.

Other major Britam shareholders are investment banker Jimnah Mbaru with a 10.2 per cent stake, city lawyer Jane Michuki (9.2 per cent), Equity Group’s CEO James Mwangi (5.3 per cent) and Britam’s CEO Benson Wairegi (5.1 per cent).

“It is not our intention to hold the acquisition shares for the long term,” Mr Munga said in a statement through his company Plum LLP through which he is implementing the buyout.

“The purpose of the proposed acquisition of the acquisition shares is to allow Britam and its shareholders the time they require to identify a suitable investor.”

The businessman said the shares will be sold to investors who are aligned to the company’s strategy and who would be in a position to add value to it, indicating that the shares could be sold to multiple suitors.