Companies

BOC approached us to enter buyout deal, says Carbacid

boc

The BOC plant in Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Dublin-based Linde Group approached Carbacid Investments to acquire its local subsidiary BOC Kenya, initiating the transaction that is now progressing through various regulatory processes.

Carbacid made the disclosure during its virtual annual general meeting held on Friday last week.

“Linde had made a decision to exit Kenya and other markets … They approached us and we considered it,” Mukesh Shah, a director of Carbacid, said during the shareholder meeting.

He added that Linde was looking for a buyer with the capability to ensure continued operation and growth of BOC whose main business lines are medical and industrial gases.

Carbacid has a carbon dioxide business catering to producers of fizzy drinks. The company also runs an investment arm, with assets ranging from property, fixed income and listed equities.

Mr Mukesh noted that BOC had earlier tried to buy Carbacid in 2005 but the deal collapsed due to regulatory roadblocks.

“Since then our financial performance has diverged and positively so for Carbacid,” he said, referring to BOC’s reduced sales and earnings over the past 15 years.

He added that Carbacid offer to BOC’s shareholders of Sh63.5 per share has taken into consideration BOC’s current and expected future financial performance.

Linde, BOC Kenya’s major shareholder with a 65.38 percent stake held through its subsidiary BOC Holdings, has agreed to tender its shares to Carbacid.

Carbacid is teaming up with its single-largest shareholder Baloobhai Patel to make a joint Sh1.2 billion bid for BOC due to a quirk in corporate ownership rules.

BOC already owns a 5.83 percent stake in Carbacid and the law bars subsidiaries from owning shares in their parent companies. Carbacid could later buy the balance of the BOC shares from Mr Patel.