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Companies

Investors visit private port in fundraising bid

Port of Mombasa
Port of Mombasa. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya’s private port operator Comarco Group is set to receive prospective investors from whom it plans to raise up to $21 million (Sh2.1 billion) as part of its reverse takeover of London-listed Anglo Africa Agriculture (AAA) Plc.

The two companies failed in their initial attempt to raise the funds by the first deadline of December 31, 2019 through sale of new shares in the merged entity.

The companies said the most promising investors were private equity firms that do not invest directly in listed equities, prompting a change in the fundraising strategy.

The firms, which have moved to extend their merger deadline, have now opted to bring in investors to buy stakes or provide loans to specific subsidiaries or assets of Comarco.

“Following the announcement on December 31, 2019 regarding the update on the proposed acquisition of the Comarco group of companies, the company is pleased to announce that it will be conducting site visits to Mombasa, Kenya with a number of potential debt and equity investors in mid-January,” AAA said in a trading update.

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“Discussions are ongoing with numerous groups at both the public equity and asset level to determine the most beneficial structure and investment partner/s.” Comarco, which owes DTB, NCBA and I&M Bank a total $29.1 million (Sh2.9 billion), will go public if its tie-up with London Stock Exchange-listed AAA is completed.

Comarco and AAA have verbally agreed to extend the long stop date of December 31, 2019 and expect to obtain a signed extension this year.

The parties had warned that if the fundraising fails, Comarco’s plans to restructure the debt owed to the Kenyan banks will be uncertain and it will be looking at paying loans ofSh1.1 billion within 12 months.

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