Capital Markets

Kirubi, Mworia raise their stakes in Centum

James Mworia, Chris Kirubi
Centum CEO James Mworia (left) and businessman Chris Kirubi confer during the company's investor briefing at the Nairobi Serena Hotel on November 13, 2013. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Billionaire Chris Kirubi has raised his stake by two million shares in listed investment firm Centum #ticker:ICDC, in which he is the single-biggest shareholder.

Mr Kirubi’s additional shares, equivalent to 0.3 per cent of the firm’s issued shares at the NSE, are worth Sh67 million at current market value with the stock trading at Sh33.50 on Tuesday.

The purchase takes his direct stake in the firm to 28.94 per cent or 192.56 million shares, while he also owns an additional stake in Centum through investment vehicle International House Limited which held 10.43 million shares or 1.57 per cent in the firm as at March this year.

Centum Investment chief executive James Mworia also increased his shareholding at the firm, buying up an additional 312,504 shares to take his total to 5.67 million.

“I bought more shares….all the insiders bought more shares,” Mr Mworia told Business Daily in interview, citing this as a show of confidence in the company’s future performance.


“The outlook is very positive…many of the long terms projects we are working are coming on well,” said Mr Mworia.

Mr Kirubi’s share stood at 24.99 per cent in September 2013 when he applied to the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) for an exemption from complying with the requirements to make a takeover after announcing his bid to raise the stake to just over 29 per cent.

Another billionaire investor, John Kibunga Kimani, increased his stake at Centum by 3.3 per cent to 6.2 million shares having bought 201,100 shares last year.

They raised their stakes even as Centum recorded a drop in its net profits to Sh2.7 billion for the full-year to March 2018 from Sh8.2 billion in 2017, mainly due to lower property valuation gains and a tough business environment in 2017.

“The impact of the economic headwinds is reflected in our performance for the year ended March 31, 2018, specifically in relation to completion of exit transactions and value uplift in our real estate portfolio,” said Mr Mworia in the company’s annual report.

“In the financial year ended, we had developed a pipeline of exit transactions in both our growth and real estate portfolios. In view of the investment climate then prevailing, we were only able to complete the exit of our investment in Platcorp Holdings Limited.”

The company had in May said its earnings would also be affected by the fact that it had not realised gains on the disposal of one of its businesses, GenAfrica Asset Managers, whose sale was not finalised by March 31. Those gains will reflect in the financial year to end of March 2019, the firm said.