BOC gets more time to assess Sh1.24bn takeover bid

boc gases

A BOC worker prepares cylinders for refill at the company’s Industrial Area plant. FILE PHOTO | NMG

The BOC Kenya #ticker:BOC board has been given additional time to value the firm and give shareholders an opinion on the Sh1.24 billion takeover offer that was made by its rival, Carbacid Investment #ticker:CARB, and its majority shareholder Baloobhai Patel in late November.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed gas producer said Friday morning that it has received approval from the Capital Markets Authority to extend the deadline of serving its shareholders with the takeover documents and an independent advisor opinion from January 25 to February 5.

“The extension of time is to ensure that the independent advisor has sufficient time to undertake the valuation of BOC and prepare and render the fairness opinion,” said the firm in a statement.

“The additional days will also afford the board adequate time to consider the fairness opinion and issue our shareholders with the required recommendation.”

BOC, which has operated in Kenya since 1940, produces and supplies industrial, medical and special gases, while Carbacid, through its operating subsidiary Carbacid (CO2) Limited, is the leading producer of food-grade carbon dioxide.

Carbacid and Mr Patel, through his Aksaya Investments LLP, served BOC with takeover offer documents on January 6 this year, prompting BOC to appoint an independent advisor to carry out a valuation and give an opinion to offer guidance to shareholders.

The takeover bid followed the November 25, 2020 notice of intention to acquire 100 percent ordinary shares of BOC.

Carbacid and Aksaya want to pay Sh63.50 for every BOC share, meaning that the total cash consideration will be Sh1.24 billion.

The bid by Carbacid marks a role reversal after the company was itself the takeover target of BOC in 2005 but the proposed transaction collapsed in October 2009 on regulatory roadblocks.

Mr Patel is the single largest shareholder in Carbacid with a 40.38 percent stake. He also owns a 99 percent equity in Aksaya.