Category Archives: county opportunities

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.

Idea Exchange: African Business, Bellagio, County tech, Kenya blog, TED Global

New, and ongoing, opportunities to apply for, including..

The African Media Initiative (AMI)  African Story Challenge  provides grants to support African business reporting and is inviting applications from individual journalists and newsrooms with unique story ideas or projects on business and technology that can only be produced with substantial support. The top twenty multimedia projects that show the best potential for adopting innovative storytelling techniques using data journalism tools, will be shortlisted for the final prize and will be awarded grants of up to $20,000 to produce them for broadcast and publication.

The All Africa Business Leaders Awards [AABLA] awards invite nominees in four categories, business leader of the year, business woman of the year, entrepreneur of the year and the young business leader of the year who through their vision, leadership and commitment make significant contributions, financial impact and/or a considerable differences through their assistance given to the work of voluntary organisations, communities, causes or society.  Deadline is 23 May.

Commonwealth Scholarships The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission has 
scholarships for candidates from developing African and South Asian Commonwealth countries to study for the part-time Masters degrees in International Human Rights Law from September 2014. Deadline is 23 April.

Nominations are now open for the 2014 Kenya Banking Awards by Think Business and categories include best bank in East Africa, and awards for product innovation, mortgage finance, SME, product, agency banking, internet, mobile, customer satisfaction, asset finance, best recovery, fastest growing, CEO, lifetime achievement, among others. 
Vote for the short-listed Kenya Blog Award finalists for the year 2014. This blog is nominated under the best business blog and there are other categories for best blogs in technology, photography, creative writing, food, environmental / agricultural, fashion/beauty, politics, corporate blog, topical blog, sports, entertainment/lifestyle, travel, health, county blog, best new blog and Kenyan Blog of the Year.

Kenya ICT Innovation Awards 2014 celebrate Kenyan companies and organizations that are using ICT in new and interesting ways. Categories this year include agriculture, BPO, education & training, environmental management, financial services, gender youth & vulnerable groups, healthcare delivery, housing & urbanization, manufacturing, social equity & poverty reduction, tourism, water & sanitation, wholesale & retail trade and finally county government issues. The deadline to apply is March 31.

Pivot East The 2014 edition of the most prestigious East African mobile start-up competition is back, and yhis years conference will be held on 24th – 25th June in Nairobi, Kenya. Apply in 5 categories of mobile finance, mobile enterprise, mobile entertainment, mobile society and mobile utility by 11 April. 

The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio residency program offers academics from universities or think tank-based academics or scientists a serene setting conducive to focused, goal-oriented work, and the unparalleled opportunity to establish new connections with fellow residents from a stimulating array of disciplines and geographies. Fiction and non-fiction writers should apply through a separate Arts & Literary Arts Residency competition, and the Foundation does have a limited travel assistance program, based on income level of invited residents. Deadline is May 1.

The Royal Academy of Engineering Africa Prize for Engineering Innovation aims  to reward entrepreneurship and innovation in Africa in disciplines from mechanical, civil and computing to biomedical, oil and gas, mining and electronic engineering.  Every shortlisted entrant will receive six months of extensive mentoring, training and support in commercialising their innovation, as part of the Academy’s commitment to international development. Thereafter, finalists will be invited to present their innovation and a winner will be selected to receive £25,000. The deadline for entries is 30 May.
TED FellowshipThe TED Fellows program is looking for people who have “demonstrated remarkable accomplishment.” Normally, there are two admission cycles per year: one for TED and one for TEDGlobal with 20 Fellowships to each conference. Deadline  is April 18, 2014. 

EDIT

Golden Baobab Prizes for Literature are an annual Pan-African award series that recognize and celebrate excellence in stories targeting African children. Deadline is June 29.

The Business Daily Top40Under40 Women series is now open for 2014. Download entry forms from the Business Daily website and submit nominations via email. 

What other opportunities are out there? Share in the comments section