Eveready East Africa #ticker:EVRD third largest shareholder, Energizer International, sold 485,900 shares last year, marginally loosening its grip on the loss-making battery selling firm.
Shareholding details in the annual report covering September 2018 show the American multinational closed the financial year with 21.05 million shares, down from 21.53 million.
The sell-down, which left Energizer with 10.03 per cent stake from 10.26 per cent, came on the back of a battle over Eveready battery supply deal that at one point saw the two parties end up in court.
Energizer terminated a long-running distribution contract with Eveready, signing a contract with another supplier—a move Eveready Plc said amounted to a shareholder posing competition.
Top individual shareholder in Eveready Karim Jamal benefited from the Energizer sell-down. His total shares jumped 319,900 to 9.43 million shares during the period, closing with 4.34 per cent shareholding.
Eveready registered an after-tax loss of Sh116.4 million for the full-year ended September last year, down from a profit of Sh267 million even as chief executive Jackson Mutua quit the firm.
The firm has been restructuring the business model from the manufacture of third party brands and now focuses on the Turbo brand to grow revenue. It has been pushing to grow sales for its Turbo brands launched in 2016 after fallout with Energizer.
The American firm had given Eveready exclusive rights to distribute its products. This was a major risk for the company since the arrangement with Energizer was creating control over product distribution and company margins, according to Eveready.