Carbacid remains glued to Sh1.2bn BOC acquisition bid


BOC workers prepare cylinders for refills at their industrial area plant. PHOTO | FREDRICK ONYANGO | NMG

Carbacid Investments is still keen on acquiring medical and industrial gas manufacturer BOC Kenya in the Sh1.2 billion deal that was scuttled by the latter’s shareholders.

The carbon dioxide manufacturer told shareholders they are seeking to speed up the hearings at the Capital Markets Tribunal and the High Court to resolve the impasse that derailed the sale.

The company made an offer to acquire the shares of BOC Kenya, but one of its shareholders filed an objection before the Capital Markets Tribunal and the High Court.

BOC’s former chairman Ngugi Kiuna, who holds a 7.6 percent stake in the company, filed an appeal at the Capital Markets Tribunal on March 2 objecting to the buyout which he says undervalues the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm.

As a result of the objections, the offer has been suspended by the Capital Markets Authority, pending the determination of the proceedings before the Capital Markets Tribunal.

“Various steps are being taken to have the matter heard and determined so that a clear position can be established on the offer. We shall keep you informed on the developments as is appropriate,” Carbacid told shareholders in the annual report.

The legal action by Mr Kiuna has delayed the takeover bid, with the offer to BOC’s shareholders having initially been scheduled to run until April 6.

The deal has now delayed for over a year with fears it may collapse.

This is not the first time that a deal between the two companies collapse, BOC had earlier tried to buy Carbacid in 2005 but the deal collapsed due to regulatory roadblocks.

BOC's main business lines are medical and industrial gases, while Carbacid has a carbon dioxide business catering to producers of fizzy drinks.

The proposed transaction will result in the largest combined industrial gases business, bringing together Carbacid’s carbon dioxide operation and BOC’s oxygen and other gas products.

Carbacid made net profits of Sh415 million in the year ending July 2021 a 28 per cent jump from Sh324 million last year.

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