Category Archives: FastJet

FastJet Finally Get Kenya License

The three-year journey to get low-cost airline FastJet into Nairobi now seems to be nearer to its goal following the licensing of FastJet Kenya to operate domestic air services between Nairobi and Mombasa, Kisumu, Eldoret, and Wajir.

However, they were not granted other rights they had applied for to fly from Nairobi to international destinations including Lusaka Harare Lilongwe and Entebbe that they serve from their current base in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Still, it’s a start. In the three years since they were established JamboJet (one by Kenya Airways) has established itself as a reliable true low-cost carrier in the country, while one of the main local airlines Jetlink has since gone out of business, leaving Fly540/Fly-SAX as the only other domestic airline with regular services to the main airports around the county. JamboJet also have designs on flying to neighboring countries, but an approval discussion was deferred in their case.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

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.

Lady Lori & FastJet?

The latest round of airline license applications has a curious addition with Lady Lori previously known as a successful helicopter charter company applying for a variation of their current license.

Lady Lori are seeking to introduce domestic flights between Nairobi and Mombasa as well as to obtain rights for international routes from Nairobi to Dar es Salaam, Juba, Kigali, Entebbe, Maputo and Lusaka.

Across the border is successful FastJet who have not been shy about their ambitions for Kenya. But their license to operate which they intended to obtain via an investment in Kenya’s Fly540 airline has been stuck somewhere in the government red tape while their Tanzania business has thrived and they are now the leading airline there. Recently, FastJet came to a settlement with Fly540 ending their acrimonious relationship. 

Could Fastjet now be starting afresh with an established and licensed operator? Lady Lori is applying for the above routes with the intention to fly Airbus A320 aircraft – which happen to be the only aircraft flown by FastJet.

FastJet, as a low cost operator has made the A320 the only airline in it’s fleet and one that made a few people wondered how Fly540 with a mix of ATRs and Bombardiers would integrate.  Lady Lori offers a fresh start in this regard.

Understanding Low Cost Flights

Though FastJet and JamboJet applied at about the same time for aviation licenses to fly in Kenya, FastJet started in Tanzania in November 2012, and a year and a half later,  JamboJet, a Kenya Airways subsidiary has launched flights in Kenya. 

As low cost carriers, there are some differences which passengers here, especially current Kenya Airways customers, may not be able to understand.
  • Cost of tickets:  Going by the FastJet model, which JamboJet also has, there is the  unique pricing of tickets. While they advertise low prices of tickets e.g.Kshs 2,850 ($35) to Mombasa, Eldoret and Kisumu, not all seats on the flight cost that. The price applies to just a few and as soon as they are bought (preferably several days or weeks in advance of a flight), then the next batch of seats become available, at a higher rate. This goes on until fares bought on the day of the flight might be comparable or even more than the cost of a full fare airline. 
  • Extras: Next is that the airline makes money on many extra items – things that you take for granted on Kenya Airways, are items you pay for on JamboJet; these include luggage (only 10kg  hand luggage is free), meals (Kshs 500 for a sandwich, and Kshs 200 for a soda) and even seat selection (costs Kshs 710 to pick a specific seat that’s tinier than a Probox as per @themacharia).
  • Children: On FastJet international routes, children aged less than 12 years are not allowed to travel unaccompanied. But on JamboJet domestic, this is allowed at a fee and the child must be met by a parent/Guardian within 20 minutes after arrival or additional fees will be charged.
  • Luggage: With JamboJet, a passenger is allowed to purchase a maximum of 64 kg of checked in baggage. The only free baggage is the 10 kg hand luggage. Also, it is cheaper to pre-book and pay in advance for baggage than pay at the airport.  On FastJet, a passenger can pay for excess weight at a rate of $5 per kg up to a maximum of 32 kg.
  • Delays: If a FastJet flight is delayed by 1 – 2 hours, the airline will provide regular communication on flight status, and if the delay is 3 – 4 hours, refreshment vouchers of up to  Tsh 8,000 ($5) may be provided. If over 5 hours delay, FastJet will communicate a flight cancellation and refunds will be issued from the head office or  there will be a free transfer to (their) next available flight. So if a flight is canceled for operational, weather, or other reasons, the T&C states that FastJet will not provide flights with alternative airlines or hotel accommodation in the event of overnight delays or cancellations.
  • Changes All fares are non-refundable. On JamboJet, itinerary changes must be made 1 hour prior to departure –  and if at the time of change, the original fare is not available, the passenger will pay a higher fare 
Also, in other markets, low cost carrier operate from smaller airports which have lower landing fees or taxes. In Kenya, an equivalent would be flying from Wilson airport or Orly Air Park as opposed to JKIA.


For now, JamboJet operates on relatively short flights to Kisumu, Edloret and Mombasa so you won’t notice that there’s no free meal service. JamboJet also has Kenya govt.  permission to fly to Wajir, Malindi, Lamu, Juba, Hargeisa, Kisangani, Pemba, Moroni, Entebbe, Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Bujumbura, Kigali, Dzaoudzi, Goma, Mwanza, Antananarivo, Zanzibar, Kilimanjaro and Addis Ababa.  Over in Tanzania Fastjet flies to Mbeya, Mwanza and Kilimanjaro, and also flies to South Africa and Zambia.

Private Equity Moment

Following the January  post on M&A deals, here are some recent events.
The Private Equity Confidence Survey was published by Africa Assets and Deloitte and it showed that, in 2012, private equity firms invested $1.13 billion towards 58 deals in Sub-Saharan Africa. This was a a slight decline from 2011, and that Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa accounted for 45% of the deals in 2012.  Also in the survey;
– Despite the enormous hype surrounding Kenya’s growing IT sector, dubbed the “Silicon Savannah”, no IT or venture capital deals were reported in eastern Africa in 2012. This clearly reflects that both the IT sector and VC industry in eastern Africa, and indeed Africa more broadly, remain quite young and underdeveloped. Interestingly, IT-Tech deals were done in 2012 in South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria and the DRC.
–  One conference speaker on VC deal structuring said the problem is ‘Kenyan entrepreneurs believe they each have a fantastic proprietary idea, and they want lots of money up front to develop it, regardless of the lack of business model planning done by many of them. 
– The dominant exit route across Africa is a sale to a strategic investor..and most investors expect the average investment lifecycle to be between two to five years.
Recent M&A deals approved by the Kenya Competition Authority include:
Agri-Business & Food
– The acquisition by Almasi Beverages of Kisii Bottlers, Rift Valley Bottlers and Mount Kenya Bottlers
– The acquisition of Lord Erroll Limited by Koita International Kenya. EDIT – The Business Daily in August 2014 wrote on the Lord Erroll buyout
– The acquisition of Ocean Agriculture (EA) by JH Verwiel.
– The acquisition of Siret Tea Company by Siret Outgrowers Empowerment & Produce Company.
– The acquisition by the Rai Family of shares of Sukari Industries.
Banking, Insurance & Finance
– The acquisition of I&M Bank by City Trust Limited.
– The acquisition of PSJ & Associates by PKF Kenya.
– The acquisition of 66.66% of Mercantile Insurance by Colina Holdings
Building, Energy & Real Estate
– The acquisition of shares in Cemtech (who were to put up a cement factory in Pokot) by Rock Field Corporation.
– The acquisition of Economic Housing by Mali Rasili Group.
– The acquisition of all assets of Mutonga Mutuandaju Small Hydro Power  (a hydro-power project in South Imenti, Meru) by Intrepid Energy.
Health & Beauty
– The purchase of shares in Alexander Forbes Healthcare by Zanele Investments Holding Company
– The acquisition of the health and beauty business (cosmetic & hair brands) of Interconsumer Products by L’Oreal East Africa
– The acquisition of certain assets & liabilities of RTT Health Services by Imperial Group
– The acquisition of Lyntons Pharmacy by Luwada Management
– The acquisition of Star Biotech Lab & Diagnostics (a pathology lab) by Metropolis Health Healthcare
– The acquisition of an indirect interest in the assets of Strategic Industries Limited.
Media & Communications
– The acquisition of Alldean Networks Limited by ISAT Africa Limited FZC and Richard W. Bell.
– The acquisition by EMC Acquisition, LLC and Emerging Markets Communication, LLC of EMC, LLC.
– The acquisition of shares in Dodhia Packaging Limited by Corpak Africa and Corpark Kenya
– The acquisition of  the investment in Rodwell Press held in Interlabels Africa by Interlabels Industries Private Limited.
Oil & Mining 
– The acquisition of Aviva Mining Kenya by Africa Barrick Gold (from Aviva Corporation)
– The acquisition of 87.25% of Pacific Seaboard Investments Limited by Tardigrade International Inc.
Tourism
– The acquisition of East Africa Safari Ventures by Natural Habitat Safaris.
– The acquisition of 80% of Nairobi Tented Camp  by Porini Limited.
– The acquisition of Leleshwa Safari Company  by Natural Habitat Safaris
– The acquisition of Vittoria Limited and subscription of shares in Olarro Conservancy Limited by Arabian Ranchers Property Investments
Transport, Engineering & Logistics 
– The acquisition Swift Global Logistics by DSV Air & Sea Holdings
– The purchase of 55% of Tradewinds Aviation by NAS Africa Aviation
– The acquisition of 60% of Treadsetters Tyres by Bharat Doshi, Aashit Shah and Carlet Overseas Corporation.
– The acquisition of 40% of Tredcore Kenya by Magister Limited
– The acquisition of Vtechnologies (Kenya) Limited by UHT SAS.
EDIT
More deals approves in May 2013
– The acquisition of the remaining shares in Cable Television Network by Wananchi Group
– The acquisition of 99% of Microensure Advisory Services by Microensure Holdings
– The acquisition of Brightermonday.com by Cheki Africa Media.

– The acquisition of 1,680 steers and 792 cows from Delamere Estates by Ngombe Ltd 
– The acquisition of 80% of Altech Kenya Data Networks and 100% of Altech Swift Global Limited by Liquid Telecommunications Holdings
–  The acquisition of the business of Daru Shifa Centre by Viva Afya
– The acquisition of Endebess Estates (Kilifi Holdings)  by Ballobhai Chhotabhai Patel.
 
Other recent deals in the News
– Jacana Partners and InReturn Capital announced a merger, and plans for a $75 million SME Fund
– 88mph and the eVentures Africa (eVA) Fund announced a partnership to improve investment opportunities
– Does Tuskys Supermarket want to buy Ukwala  a rival supermarket chain?
– 90% of I&M Bank shareholders have accepted the takeover by City Trust Ltd and the deal makers have been granted a 2 week extension to reach out to the remaining shareholders. Next steps include a share split.  mandatory acquision of the balance of shares, and a possible NSE-listing on June 12.
–  Airtel signed an agreement to fully acquire Warid Uganda – the combined entity will remain the number two carrier in Uganda with 7.4 million customers  and a market share of 39%.
Fastjet and the CEO of Fly540 agreed to cease their court battles and work towards an acquisition of Fly540  – freeing FastJet to commence Kenyan operations.
– A summary of China investments around the world in the year 2011.
–  In the US, M&A of VC-backed startups are at a four year low.
–  Venture capital merger and acquisition activity in the US dropped in the first quarter of this year, ending with the fewest exits since the first quarter of 2009, according to the just-released venture report from Dow Jones VentureSource.
Some 86 M&A transactions were done for a total amount of $4.3 billion, down 44% in deal activity and a decline of 24% in capital. In the final three months of last year, 113 deals brought in $7.6 billion to the VC-backed startups.
– Companies raised $6.36 billion in the first quarter of 2013, the lowest amount raised since the third quarter of 2010, when $6.1 billion was raised. In the first three months of the year, 752 companies were funded, which is similar to the 732 companies that got funded just over two years ago. Healthcare deals accounted for almost a third of the invested capital.

EDIT Jambo Biscuits food processing business is being transferred Kilimanjaro Foods.