A Moi family-owned logistics firm has sold a controlling stake to Kuwait based company for ground handling services at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and Eldoret.
National Aviation Services (NAS) has signed a strategic partnership agreement to acquire a 51 percent stake at Siginon Aviation- a subsidiary of Siginon Group Limited, which provides airport ground handling and cargo management services.
The company did not disclose the cost of the deal, but it said the enterprise value is about Sh4.4 billion ($40 million).
Kenya is the latest market where the company is launching its operations, having established such activities in countries like South Africa, DRC, Guinea Bissau and Zambia.
“A combination of NAS’s global presence and expertise in airport services with Siginon Aviation’s experience in Kenya will successfully strengthen the ground handling, ramp handling and cargo handling capabilities in the region, especially in East Africa,” said NAS chief executive Hassan El-Houry.
Former President Moi owns Siginon Group together with his former PA Joshua Kulei who has a 12 percent stake.
This is among high-value transactions in recent years that have seen the Moi family cede ownership in some key investments.
In 2019, the Moi family and allies sold a 93.57 per cent stake in Transnational Bank to Nigerian lender Access Bank for Sh1.4 billion.
The Moi family controls a vast business empire whose business interests range from media, education, transport and logistics to hospitality.
Meshack Kipturgo, Siginon Group’s managing director said they foresee great promise for business and growth for both their staff and customers through service delivery in the wake of the new partnership.
“This partnership is a true reflection of our mutual ambition to make a positive mark in service excellence, extend our footprint in Kenya and beyond as we jointly tap onto the opportunities present in the cargo and aviation sector,” said Mr Kipturgo.
Mr El-Houry said, during the Covid-19 pandemic, their cargo services came to the forefront by keeping crucial supply chains flowing uninterrupted.
“With the ongoing vaccine requirements around the world… with this growing demand, we expanded our focus on cargo management in Africa and the partnership with Siginon Aviation is indeed timely,” he added.
The CEO said the firm, which was established in 2003, handled almost a million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine at different African airports
Since 2010, Siginon Aviation has been upgrading its ground handling capacity with several upgrades that included the relaunching of its operations in a state-of-the-art air cargo terminal and the acquisition of ramp equipment to boost its operations at the JKIA.
In 2018 NAS committed to invest $50 million into the African aviation sector over a period of three years, however, this was slowed last year following the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr El-Houry said NAS experienced an 85 percent drop in revenue as a result of a slowdown in business in the logistics sector across the globe.
“Despite the challenges, we remained focused on our commitment to the sector and thrived during a very difficult period,” he said.