Markets & Finance

Centum makes history with Longhorn stake buy


Brokers trade on the floor of the NSE. Centum now directly holds 164,014,078 ordinary shares in Longhorn. PHOTO | FILE

Centum Investments has become the first firm to gain controlling stake in another Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm through a cash call.

A Sh390 million investment in a Longhorn Publishers cash call raised its stake from 31.25 per cent to 60 per cent.

It however says it will not push for full takeover. The only other listed firm to own another is TrasCentury that has a 68 per cent of East African Cables stake.

The investment firm earlier announced it would invest the amount in the rights issue which was only slightly oversubscribed.

“Centum hereby announces to the public that following the recently announced concluded rights issue by Longhorn publishers and with the approval of the Competition Authority of Kenya, Centum has acquired effective control over Longhorn by acquiring 118,314,853 new shares in Longhorn,” it said in a regulatory notice on Friday.

Previously Centum had 45,699,225 ordinary shares in Longhorn.

With the acquisition of the new ordinary shares, Centum now directly holds 164,014,078 ordinary shares.

READ: Centum ups Longhorn shareholding to 60 per cent

Two years ago Centum successfully acquired a controlling stake in the private Sidian Bank, raising its shareholding from 7.54 per cent to 67.54 per cent. It had been a minority shareholder in the bank then called K-Rep since 2004.

Centum is currently undertaking capital-intensive real estate projects in Kenya and Uganda and has also ventured into the power sector.