Category Archives: FastJet

Kenyan M&A

The Kenya Competition Authority recently approved for several corporate deals to be completed. Some of them were mere rubber stamping formalities, as the deals originated far away or had little in the way of local competition that would compel the authority to intervene. 

They covered a variety of sectors including: 

  • (The acquisition of) The flower growing business of Finlay’s Horticulture Kenya by Lamorna
  • (The acquisition of the) Residual business  of Agrifresh Kenya by Finlays
  • (The acquisition of)  Sarkish Flora Ltd by Africa Blooms Limited.
Oil & Mining
– Acquisition of 100% of Cove Energy Plc by Shell Exploration & Production (Thailand) 
– Acquisition of  100% of Dominion Petroleum by Ophir Energy Plc.
– Pacific Wildcat Resources Corporation acquiring 100% of Stirling Capital  (UK) and Cortec Pty (UK)
– Elsewhere, there are new (and controversial) that have been proposed that mandate for local shareholders to own 25% of petroleum companies and 35% of mining companies (read more) 
Money & Finance
  • Acquisition of 100% of Aureos Capital by Abraaj Capital
  • Acquisition of Grant Thornton Kenya by PKF & Associates (which continues to be in an expansion mode even after taking over DCDM)
  • (The acquisition of) Additional shares in Pan Africa Insurance Holdings by Hubris Holdings
  • Acquisition of Credit Reference Bureau (Holdings) Limited by Transunion Netherlands (part of the credit giant Transunion
  • 62.52% of Micro Africa by Letshego Holdings (of Botswana)
  • (100%) of  Ol-Seki Ltd by Hemingways Holdings
Manufacturing & Engineering
  • The acquisition of selected assets of Raffia Bags Kenya by Polycem Bags
  •  The acquisition of 62% of Civicon Ltd by Transcentury Engineering & Contracting
  • The acquisition of 75% of Nairobi Java House by Emerging Capital Partners Africa Fund III. The deal won the AI  deal of the year  award and last weekend was featured on the Citizen TV piece called Who owns Kenya  (video)


  • Shoden Data Systems (Proprietary) by Hitachi Data Systems Europe (a sub-Saharan territory deal)
  • Kingfisher Properties by Mahesh Sanghrajka & Aasheet Sanghrajka.
  • Centro Suburb Ltd by  Westlands Triangle Properties


Following on three earlier deals: 

  • Barclays & Absa are back in the news, six years later
  • The shareholders of three bottling companies in Kenya have agreed with a Coca Cola  plan to merge them under a single company Almasi, with one board of directors and CEO and cut other costly production redundancies
  • No word on Kenol. 


In the News

Other ongoing deals, yet to be concluded include: 

Money & Finance

  • Deloitte East Africa merging with Haile Solomon & Tekeste (Ethiopia)
  • The I&M Bank and City Trust deal
  • I&M Bank Limited buying 55% of Banque Commerciale du Rwanda
  • EcoBank Kenya pursuing an undisclosed local investment bank
  • UAP Holdings pursuing an undisclosed Tanzanian insurance company


  • Australian firm Aviva Corporation (Australia) selling stakes of Kenyan subsidiary to Africa Barrick Gold (ABG)
  • Copy Cat buying 51% stake of Seal Africa
  • Low cost airline, FastJet which took over the routes of Fly540 in Kenya and Tanzania, also plans to take over the collapsed operations of South Africa’s 1-time airline for $0.12
  • The Woolworth – Deacons deal    

Low Cost Flights for Africa?

In a few weeks time FastJet should be flying a leased Airbus A319 between Dar es Salaam and Nairobi. FastJet, who are listed on the London Stock Exchange, are part of a group that flies 4 million people a year. Their experience in Europe and Asia shows that the licensing of low cost carriers increases the number of flyers. They won’t be here to compete with Kenya Airways (KQ) or Precision Air, which is Tanzania’s dominant air carrier, but their target is people who take buses between Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam  (or Nairobi and Mombasa) and they will be offering fares that start as low as $20 before taxes and are ambitious to roll out the model across other African countries

New look FastJet

A current search on the local TravelStart site shows that  one way flights between Dar and Nairobi attract taxes of between $90 and $110 – so there’s no feasible way passengers will be paying anything less than $120 per flight – and high airport taxes are the norm in many African countries. Not all seats on the plane will costs $20 (Kshs 1,700) – and they will be sold in increasing blocks as the flight gets fuller and the dates closer, such that those who choose to pay last minute will pay almost a full fare. 
Fly540 will still be around

Fly540 itself should still be around flying, on routes that the A319’s can’t fly to, and the next bases for Fastjet  as the lease more A319’s are likely to be Nairobi, Accra, and  Luanda.

Also licensed in the same week was JamboJet, a planned low cost carrier from Kenya Airways.  A few years ago, KQ ran an airline called Flamingo Air, but it was not really a low cost – not in terns of fares  or level of service which were comparable to other domestic Kenya Airways flights. 

Do African passengers really understand what low costs flights  mean? That there will be no food or drink unless you pay? That you will be charged extra for your bags? Or that you may be asked to clean your seat? That has to come out clearly in the marketing of these tickets  to sensitize flyers on the type of service to expect.