I&M Bank founders buy Nairobi Business Park after CAK approval


Signage of an I&M Bank branch on Kenyatta Avenue, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | FRANCIS NDERITU | NMG

The founders of I&M Group have bought Nairobi Business Park, marking their latest major investment in the country.

Through their investment vehicle MTZ Holdings, the Shah family acquired the property complex along Nairobi’s Ngong Road from NBP Holdings Limited.

The transaction was recently approved by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).

“The Competition Authority of Kenya has approved the proposed acquisition of the entire issued share capital of NBP Holdings Limited by MTZ Holdings Limited unconditionally,” the regulator said in a notice.

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“NBP Holdings Limited (the target) is an investment holding company whose primary investment is Nairobi Business Park, a commercial property.”

MTZ is a newly incorporated entity and will hold the property complex.

Sources familiar with the transaction told Business Daily that the investment holding company is in turn owned by three firms that also have a majority stake in the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed I&M Group.

They are Minard Holdings which has 21.6 per cent in the Kenyan banking multinational, Tecoma Limited (18.4 per cent) and Ziyungi Limited (17.8 per cent).

Together, they hold a 57.8 per cent interest in I&M with a market value of about Sh16.2 billion.

Directors of the three firms include Suresh Bhagwanji Raja Shah who is a founder of the bank.

The value of the Nairobi Business Park deal was not disclosed but is expected to have topped the Sh2 billion mark based on past transactions in the same property.

Private equity firm Actis developed the property and sold its interest in February 2015 for an undisclosed sum.

The buyers of the business park subsequently put it up for sale two-and-a-half years later at an asking price of Sh2.6 billion.

The Grade ‘A’ office complex was completed at the end of 2002 and sits on a 16-acre plot which Actis acquired from the Jockey Club of Kenya to develop the commercial block.

The business park is close to the affluent Karen suburb, has more than 200 parking bays and its attractiveness has been boosted by the dualling of Ngong Road.

This is the latest big-ticket transaction in the real estate market in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic which brought down the value of most properties, handing buyers more bargaining power.

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Jubilee Holdings last year revealed that it bought Coca-Cola East Africa’s former head office in Nairobi’s Upper Hill at a cost of Sh1.1 billion that the company described as a bargain.

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