Category Archives: county opportunities

Kenya’s Sportpesa joins the world of Formula One sponsorship

Today in Canada, sports betting company Sportpesa was unveiled as the title sponsor of the Racing Point Formula One team in its latest international sponsorship venture.

Others sponsors of the team are Bombardier, JCB, BWT and team officials also announced there was room for more sponsors to push the team forward to better performances on track during the season that begins in March 2019 in Australia. The team’s drivers said their realistic aim for the year was for fourth place in the constructor’s championship (i.e. behind the perennial top three teams – Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull), to get some podium finishes, and perhaps even a race win.

Racing point is the former Force India team that ran into financial difficulties during the 2018 season. The Force India team had its best performances in 2016 and 2017 when it finished fourth in the formula one standings.

This also ends an unfortunate joke era when the newly-elected governor for Machakos, Alfred Mutua, unveiled his dream for a formula one track in his county, back in 2013.

The RaceFans site which broke the story last month reported that SportPesa is understood to be paying $8 million (i.e. ~Kshs 800 million) for its first year followed by $10 million in 2020 and a further $12 million if they remain for 2021.

Mara Triangle reports on running the Masai Mara

Earlier in December came some news reports of 26 elephant deaths that had happened in recent months in the Masai Mara area. This came a few months after a national uproar in Kenya over the deaths of 11 rhinos from a wildlife translocation program gone wrong,

The source of the stories on the elephant deaths was a report from the Mara Elephant Project (MEP), but the organization has since retracted the sensational claims.

That said, there’s a great ongoing series of reports on the management or the running of the Masai Mara game reserve by Mara Triangle. Written and archived monthly, the Mara Triangle reports give great insight into activities in the Mara, on topics like revenue collection, security updates (including poaching numbers), staff changes, rainfall, number of visitors, special arrivals, scientific research being done in the Mara, filming in the park and also on wildlife deaths.

Excerpts from different 2018 monthly reports

Revenue

  • March to May is the most difficult period as in those months, expenditure substantially exceeds revenue. March revenue was Kshs 30 million, and July was Kshs 98 million despite 44% of visitors not paying the Conservancy fee. In August they crossed the $1 million revenue mark for the first time ever, earning Kshs 109 million. Majority of visitors were from the Narok side which has better game viewing and management.
  • Discussions are ongoing between the Mara Conservancy and Narok County government, for the Mara Conservancy to manage all aspect of the park, through Seiya Ltd, except revenue collection, which is done by KAPS (Kenya Airports Parking Services). For that, they would retain 30% of the revenue.
  • Instances of non-residents, even Chinese tourists, posing as residents to enter the park, are common.
  • There is a high number of non-paying visitors and KAPS was asked to do a reconciliation. It found that, in April 56% of visitors to the Triangle did not pay the Conservancy.
  • They have applied to Safaricom for a Paybill number so people can use their M-Pesa to pay the conservancy fee. The Paybill number (863297) has since been activated and they hope to move to a cashless system of collections.
  • Governors Balloons started paying revenue for the first time in seventeen years.
Rains and Roads
  • In 2018, the Mara had its highest rainfall since 2006 causing flooding and heavy damage to roads. The rains in the areas were actually the highest recorded in sixty years.
  • Heavy rains damage roads and the management sometimes resorts to closing off some areas of the park. Vehicles crisscrossing off-road, in search of wildlife, only add to the problem. The County Government has directed that it does not want to see any saloon cars, in particular, the Toyota Probox, in the park.

Poaching and Wildlife Deaths

  • They document all wildlife deaths, the causes of these, and if there was a human involvement (versus death from natural causes), especially of elephants and rhinos and the recovery of the tusks and horns from the dead animals.
  • A District Warden from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) collects all recovered ivory after each piece has been recorded and signed for. 
  •  KWS now has a trained prosecutor in Kilgoris and there are discussions on how to fund a training course for non-commissioned officers on wildlife law, preparation of statements and court procedures.
  • Sniffer dogs are an important aspect of park security, tracking poachers and thieves. New dogs are imported from overseas, trained, and extensively traded by vets.
Human-Wildlife Conflict:
  • A study found that the main actors in this are spotted hyaenas (53% of instances), leopards (32%), and then lions (15%).
  • Most households lose an average of 3.5% of their livestock to predators.
  • A compensation system has been developed: a kill is reported, rangers visit the scene to verify, photos are taken, and if approved, payment is done at the end of the month. The Conservancy is then reimbursed by the Angama Foundation.

The World-famous Migration

  • This year, 2018, saw one of the worst migrations in recent years. While newspapers report that Tanzanian authorities started fires to create a barrier for the wildebeest, something that they do every year, this did not in fact delay the migration  – but this was a story put out by the tourist industry to explain why safaris they sold on the basis of the migration did not, in fact, feature the migration.

  •  The heavy rain in the Serengeti in Tanzania meant the wildebeest had enough water and grass and did not need to migrate until later. Wildebeest only move from Serengeti to the Mara if they have exhausted water and foliage.  The Mara used to have its own Loita migration, but that doesn’t exist any more as the Loita wildebeest population has crashed.
Bad Manner and Tourism:
  • There are daily complaints about indiscipline and more up-market operators are avoiding the Mara during the high season. A Dutch diplomat refused to pay fine for driving off-road and then blocked a bridge.
  • There is chaos at many crossings, with as many as 300 vehicles present some with people running between them (and some of these images were shared on social media).

  •  It is very difficult to gauge how much the wildebeest are affected by too many vehicles.  The vehicles disrupt the crossing and drive the animals to quieter spots. 
  • Drivers do not obey rules, especially when they think they are not being monitored. On the 23rd (of September) we had nearly 20 vehicles around a leopard sighting .. It is most unfortunate that we can not rely on our resident drivers, (who are well-trained and from top camps) to police themselves. 
  • Campsites are sometimes left in a mess, including two cases by professional safari guides.
Other Masai Mara findings:
  • Visitors in the year included Narok Governor Tunai, Cabinet Secretaries for Tourism (Balala)  and also for Internal Security (Matiangi). Leslie Roach who had donated $200,000 when the Conservancy was started, also visited the Triangle with her family. Also, John Ward visited Serena, a day before the 30th anniversary of his daughter Julie’s death (Apparently Serena was the last place that Julie was confirmed being seen alive). Some MCA’s visited, requesting assistance and David Attenborough also visited the Mara. He is making a film about the loss of biodiversity in his lifetime and his crew also did some filming for a Netflix series on ecological habits that will be shown in August 2019.  
  • The audit for the year to June 2018 was done by  Deloitte who reported that the Triangle had income of Kshs 263 million and a profit of Kshs 10.5 million after expenses of Kshs 252 million.  
  • KAPS removed three members of staff for possible fraud.
  • Some large Flircameras donated by WWF need repair but that organization no longer has funding for the camera project.

Bungoma Integrated Industrial Project

The Bungoma Integrated Industrial Project (BIIP) blueprint plan by the Stevenson Group of Washington DC has appeared as a full-page advertisement in the Kenyan newspapers inviting local firms to indicate interest in participating in a mega-project that encompasses affordable housing, agribusiness, industry, dams, airports etc.

 The BIIP will be done with all the counties along the 286 kilometers of River Nzoia. The 1.5 million population Bungoma county is mainly a farming area but is also known for being the home of the Panpaper Mills, an industrial plant at Webuye town that has been rehabilitated several times by successive governments.

The BIIP projects will be implemented by Shelter Solutions, but the request is too broad, and perhaps needs to be broken to different sectors. It requires firms who should all have experience handling projects of $100 million to apply by a deadline of November 1 in writing.

MSurvey: Better Data, Better Decisions

Last month, I got introduced MSurvey  (msurvey.co.ke), a fast simple solutions for companies seeking to collect research data, or other information about their products and service from users. They do this using a nifty platform, all mobile, that is free for respondents – of which the   costs of the SMS/USSD messages are paid for by the customers who are doing the survey.

My 5-minute MSurvey

My 5-minute MSurvey

With MSurvey, it’s also quite quick to set up a questionnaire. This one (attached( took about five minutes to set up, with random questions for farmers and responses came within a minute of it going live from farmers in different parts of the country. Responders are rewarded with airtime prizes, and the process is non-intrusive.

One of their customers is Java House and when you pay for a meal via mpesa, you get to answer a few questions about the service and your experience at whichever restaurant you ate. They are also in the US and Trinidad & Tobago, and some of their other customers are Musoni, (the) Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad & Tobago, Digicell, Safarciom, and Acumen.

M&A Moment: BritAm, Centum, other East Africa deals

Britam and Centum have had a busy few weeks.

BritAmEA (i) Had an oversubscribed bond at the NSE that saw them raise Kshs 6 billion (ii) Completed the acquisition of 99% Real Insurance – giving them access to Mozambique, Malawi and Tanzania (the Competition Authority approved this deal with a caveat that they retain at least 85 of the 105 employees of Real) (iii) Established an office in Rwanda (IV) Britam will also pay about Kshs 2 billion for Equity’s 25% in Housing Finance.

Centum (i) Are proposing to acquire an additional 66% shares in K-Rep Bank (ii) Are seeking shareholder approval to create a Mauritius company, set up Kings Beverage, Bakki, Shefa subsidiaries, and also ratify the acquisition of 73% of Genesis & 30% of Broll (real estate) (iii) Ceded 42% of Two Rivers venture to investors at Kshs 6 billion, (iv) Are still in the running for Rea Vipingo offering Kshs 75 per share, over the Rea bid of Kshs 70 per share to other shareholders (v) Key Centum shareholder, Chris Kirubi said he wants to be a dollar billionaire

Other recent deals include

Airlines
  • Kenya Airways to give Tanzania’s Precision Air a $10 million bailout. 
  • Waiting to see who will officially be FastJet’s partner will be for their renewed push to enter the Kenyan aviation market.
  • Hong Kong listed Frontier Services Group completed acquisition of 49% of Phoenix Aviation for $14 million (Kshs.1.2 billion).
Autos
  • Al Futtaim Auto to compulsorily acquire the remaining 8.4% of CMC shares from minority shareholders
Banking & Finance
  • Actis to acquire Compuscan, the largest independent credit bureau in Africa & run it as Credit Service Holdings with Michael Jordaan as chair.
  • Diamond Trust has an ongoing rights issue to raise Kshs 3.2B ($42 million) from shareholders at Kshs 165 per share.
  • Ecobank got investment bank approval in Kenya following their buyout of Iroko buyout and will target oil & gas, infrastructure & commodity deals. 
  • KCB is now holding company, and is said to be interested in buying an insurance entity
  • (edit) Kenyan Women Holdings will sell 25% of the shareholding of Kenya Women’s Finance Trust to their 600,000 members between September and October 2014. 
  • NIC Bank to have a corporate bond and rights issue during 2014
  • Atlas Mara to buy 77% of Development Bank of Rwanda 
  • National Bank shareholders to vote on if money from their upcoming rights issue can go to pay off preference shareholders
  • Western Kenya politicians have support the creation of a new Mulembe Investment MFI bank, that will be part-funded by counties to serve 5 million people. 
Building & Cement
  • Holcim is set to acquire effective control of Kenya’s Bamburi Cement as part of the planned merger between Holcim and Lafarge. “The parties do not wish to see any change to the status of Bamburi as one of Kenya’s leading industrial companies listed on the NSE.”
Food & Beverage 

  • Danone bought 40%of Kenya’s dairy processing company Brookside which had revenue of Kshs15.4 billion (€130 million) i in 2013. It was previously 90% owned by the Kenyatta family with Abraaj owning 10%. Brookside collects milk from 140,000 farmers and has 3,000 employees.
  • Distell of Stellenbosch South Africa got privatization approval from the Kenya government to acquire of 26% of KWA Holdings E.A. that was previously owned by ICDC  for Kshs 860 million (about $10 million)
  • Kenya Wines will also their Kshs126 millionUchumi Supermarket stake.

  • See Centum (above)
  • South African food company, Tiger Brands has dropped plans to acquire Kenya firms Rafiki Millers for $25m.

Health & Beauty

  • Procter & Gamble merged India, the Middle East and Africa into one IMEA region to improve execution 

Hotels & Tourism
  • The Kenya Competition Authority approved the acquisition of 100% of Fairview Hotel by City Lodge Hotels.
  • Kempinski Hotels, Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group has officially taken over Hôtel Des Milles Collines in Rwanda.

Insurance 
  • See Britam above
  • CIC had dropped plans for a rights issue in favour of a corporate bond
  • Liberty Kenya proposed to pay a Kshs 1/= scrip dividend, but shareholders can opt for cash.  
  • UAP had an oversubscribed bond that raised Kshs 3.1 billion against a target of 2B. 
  • Africa Report magazine listed insurance companies as the top performers at the NSE in 2014 (see table).
Legal
  • Kenyan firms Hamilton Harrison & Matthews (HHM) and Oraro & Company have announced they are to merge pending regulatory approvals.
Media & Communications
#RIPCareyEaton

  • The $35 billion Publicis-Omnicom merger fell apart. The deal to combine the world’s largest advertising company was foiled by myriad difficulties, including who would run the new firm. The collapse of the deal is a win for WPP CEO Martin Sorrell, who campaigned aggressively against the merger of two of his biggest rivals.
  • A few months after his big deal with One Africa Media consolidating operations in Kenya, Uganda and South Africa, co-founder, Carey Eaton, was killed in Nairobi. See some tributes to Carey Eaton. The Economist also ranked the largest internet companies in Africa and One Africa Media topped this at $80 million, followed by Mobile Planet ($15 million) and Kopo Kopo ($10 million) 
  • passed away – some tributes 
  • Scangroup agreed to acquire a majority stake in a pan-African firm – the Experiential Marketing Group (EXP) 
  • The  Safaricom and Airtel buy out of (and split of) Yu appears to have stalled. 
Oil & Mining
  • In the last year, Tullow Oil and Base Resources have paid the Kenya government $22 million and $16 million respectively . 
  • Tullow received a  judgment in its favour over capital gains tax payments that Tullow had made onHeritage’s behalf to the Uganda Revenue Authority. In August 2013, Tullow received $345.8 million from Heritage in satisfaction of this High Court judgment.
  • Swala Oil & Gas completed their Tanzania IPO which was oversubscribed and will now proceed to list on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange (“DSE”). The placement of 13.3 million shares with 1,869 new and existing shareholders also allowed Swala to keep excess funds from Dar IPO.
Transportation & Utilities
  • Transcentury sold their 34% in Rift Valley Railways to Citadel Capital for $43.7M recovering their cash, but below fair value..they cited the delayed turnaround of the railway consortium as reason for the sale
  • Actis confirmed sale of its stake in Umeme for $85.5 million to 20 institutional investors including Investec and Uganda’s NSSF
  • Kone Kenya acquired the business of Marryat & Scott, an elevator installation company.
Other Peoples Money
  • The Australian Navy seized heroin worth $296 million from a wooden boat off  the Kenyan coast.
  • The Karen Blixen house was put up for sale for $9.5 million 
  • Kenya’s NSSF had $600 million (Kshs 51 billion) in quoted securities as at June 2013 topped by Bamburi EABL and KCB.
  • The Competition Authority fined Tusker Mattresses (Tuskys) and Ukwala supermarkets Kshs 5.3 million while allowing them to continue pursuing a supermarket consolidation deal.