Kenya: Uchumi plans for 100 million shares
The-Star.co.ke - Jun 21st, 10:32
Uchumi Supermarket is counting on small retail investors across East Africa as it seeks to raise cash for expansion.
The company listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange plans to cross list on the Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda bourse in August to be followed by fresh cash call on the shareholders in November.
The cross listing and rights issue was approved by shareholders in December, with an initial target of Sh1.5 billion for the 100 million new shares at a discounted price of Sh15.
But group chief executive officer Jonathan Ciano said the chain is hoping for more with no specific target yet. "The amount will be determined by the investor appetite and once the share price is valued,"
Faida Investment Bank will be lead transaction advisor and sponsoring broker while Equity Bank will be the receiving bank. The supermarket has had a rough history since it was placed in receivership in June 2006 and was simultaneously de-listed from the NSE. It was re-listed in May 2011 after it returned to profitability.
"The appetite for the share in different countries will also determine what percentage of the rights shares they get," Ciano said. Uchumi already has operations in Uganda and Tanzania. It targets to open 13 more branches in the next one year across the region.
"But we do not measure our growth by the number of branches but by the growth volumes, once you grow the business volume, all the other parts follow," he said
Uchumi will be the eighth Kenyan company to cross list in other East Africa countries. The others cross-listed ones are Kenya Airways, Kenya Commercial Bank, Nation Media Group, Diamond Trust Bank, East Africa Breweries, Jubilee Insurance and Centum Investment.
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