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I did not know about KenolKobil takeover, says Satchu

Mr Aly-Khan Satchu,  CEO Rich Management
Mr Aly-Khan Satchu, CEO Rich Management (left), Mr David Ohana, KenolKobil MD (centre) and Mr Andre DeSimone, CEO, Kestrel Capital. FILE PHOTOS | NMG 

Aly-Khan Satchu had already set his sights on KenolKobil #ticker:KENO shares before last year’s announcement of a proposed takeover of the company by French firm Rubis Energie, the stocks dealer has told the capital markets regulator in the ongoing insider trading investigations.

Mr Satchu, in responses to Capital Markets Authority (CMA) queries that have been filed in court, has distanced himself from accusations of being involved in suspect trading of KenolKobil shares.

He has instead filed an application challenging court orders that allowed the regulator to seize his mobile phone and other electronic devices.

Mr Satchu, KenolKobil CEO David Ohana and Mr Andre DeSimone, the chief executive of stockbrokerage firm Kestrel Capital, are accused of leaking privileged takeover information by French firm Rubis Energie to some traders.

The traders purchased 62.6 million KenolKobil shares worth Sh938.3 million, with potential to make a profit of Sh503.7 million once the deal was sealed.

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“I have watched KenolKobil since 2007. I have been studying the share since then and there is a record on my website of my thoughts,” says Mr Satchu.

On January 14, CMA obtained court orders to seize electronic devices from Mr Satchu, Mr Ohana and Mr DeSimone to retrieve information the regulator wants to use to build its case of insider trading against them.

Fresh application

But Mr Satchu has now filed a fresh application seeking to lift these orders arguing that they allowed the CMA to get access to his mobile phones and other devices infringing on Article 31 of the Constitution that guarantees his right to privacy.

He has filed in court his response to the queries raised by CMA regarding his dealings in the KenolKobil shares.

CMA had in its filings revealed its suspicions that Mr Satchu contacted several traders informing them of the intended takeover of the oil marketer.

But Mr Satchu says his 2017 interview with Mr Ohana and his real-time tracking of the stock exchange market informed his decision to advise his clients to purchase KenolKobil shares.

The CMA asked Mr Satchu to clarify on the circumstances that led to Mr Abdul Hameed Sheikh, Jamal Farzeen, Radia Kantilal and Tiwari Simon, all his clients, to acquire many shares days before the Rubis Energie offer was made public.

He, however, claims that that all of them have been either his long-term clients or friends that he had advised on acquiring either KenolKobil or Safaricom shares and refers to them as ‘sophisticated investors’ who are able to make informed decisions.

New clients

Mr Satchu claims that he only spoke to Mr Ohana when he interviewed him in 2017 and to Mr DeSimone whenever registering new clients in his capacity as an agency of his stockbrokerage firm.

The CMA reckons that privileged trading in the oil marketer’s shares ahead of last year’s announcement of a Sh35 billion takeover stood to benefit the company CEO, Mr DeSimone and Mr Satchu.

CMA investigators seized mobile phones, laptops and computers belonging to the three in simultaneous raids at their offices on January 15.

KenolKobil moved 433.8 million shares valued at Sh6.1 billion in the six days of trading to October 23, a day before the Rubis deal was made public, compared to 472,500 stocks in the week preceding the start of the share-buying frenzy on October 16.

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