Category Archives: Safaricom

M&A Moment: July 2017

Various recent deals in the last few weeks and months in East Africa – compared to 2016 and 2015

Banking and Finance: Finance, Law, & Insurance

  • Commercial Bank of Africa (Kenya) is acquiring 100% of Crane Bank Rwanda from DFCU of Uganda
  • Direct Pay Online Group acquired 100% of Virtual Card Service in Botswana and Namibia. This will be followed by the acquisition of 100% of VCS business in South Africa (via Balancing Act Africa)
  • Chase Bank suitors announced by the Business Daily – are led by Societe General, and State Bank of Mauritius (who have also just completed acquisition of Fidelity Bank)
  • Barclays PLC sold 22% of Barclays Africa
  • KCB was linked to another bid for NBK, although the CMA denied any knowledge of such a deal.
  • Kuramo Capital, the largest shareholder of Transcentury is acquiring 25% of Sterling Capital stockbrokers, the second largest bond trader in the country
  • Diamond Trust to acquire Habib Bank Kenya for shares worth Kshs 1.82 billion (~$18 million)
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of a minority stake of 10.68% of I&M Holdings by CDC Group PLC together with certain veto rights.
  • I&M Holdings also has announced the successful completion of merger of Giro Commercial Bank
  • Carlyle to acquire Global Credit Rating Co. (South Africa)
  • Letshego Holdings Limited (Botswana) acquires afb Ghana
  • Atlas Mara to acquire 13.4% equity in United Bank Nigeria, from Clermont Group for $55 million, increasing its stake to 44.5%
  • Sanlam Group has completed the acquisition of majority stake in PineBridge Investments East Africa Limited. PIEAL is a leading asset management company in East Africa with operations in Kenya and Uganda

Beauty & Pharma/Chem

  • The Competition Authority of Kenya authorized the acquisition of Dan Pharmacie by Mimosa Pharmacy.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya authorized the acquisition of Sole Control of Syngenta AG (Syngenta) by China National Agrochemical Corporation (CNAC).
  • The Authority excludes the proposed acquisition of 72% of the issued share capital of Chemserve Cleaning Services Limited by Eye Level Exposure Limited from Part IV of the Act .. (their) combined turnover of KSh. 138,076,904 is below the required merger threshold for mandatory notification
  • Abraaj Group gets approval to acquire 75% of Healthlink Management (Nairobi Women’s hospital?)
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has approved the proposed acquisition of 100% of the issued share capital of Monsanto Kenya by Bayer Aktiengesellschar/KWA Investment. Businessman Chris Kirubi revealed that he holds a 45% stake in agrochemical firm Bayer East Africa.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of the shares in the Dow Chemical Company by Dowdupont Inc. and the Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of the shares in E. I. Du Pont De Numerous and Company by Dowdupont Inc.
  • A local drug store is set to be acquired for Sh. 2 billion. Imperial Health Sciences, which based along Mombasa Road will be acquired by South African investment firm Mara Delta Property Holdings. “The facility will be leased back to Imperial Health Sciences on a 10-year triple net basis, denominated in US$ and guaranteed by Imperial Holdings Limited.”

Food & Beverage

  • Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottler- Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Proprietary Limited (CCBA) has acquired Equator Bottlers, the third largest Coca-Cola bottler in Kenya. Equator Bottlers, was previously a subsidiary of Kretose Investments Limited owned by the Shah family, has been one of several authorized Coca-Cola Bottlers, which supply products in the Western regions of Kenya. It was established in 1966 and is based in Kisumu.

  • The Abraaj Group is to acquire 100% of Java House Group from Emerging Capital Partners – the story was first broken at Wallace Kantai’s blog and the deal is said to be worth about $130 million. Java House Group was established in Nairobi in 1999. In 2012, Emerging Capital Partners acquired a majority stake in the Company, with the founder retaining a minority stake. ECP has helped Java House grow from 13 shops in Nairobi into East Africa’s largest casual dining brand, building an ‘eat-out’ culture. Today, it has an unrivalled regional footprint of 60 stores across 10 cities in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
  • Catalyst Principal Partners has, through a newly established firm, Britania Foods Limited, acquired the business and operations of Jambo Biscuits Ltd, being a leading biscuits manufacturer in Kenya with its flagship “Britania” brand.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya authorized the acquisition of assets of Wanainchi Marine Products (Kenya) by One Holdings.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya authorized the acquisition of Sosco Fishing Industries by One Holdings.
  • Distell, Africa’s leading producer of spirits, wines, ciders and ready-to-drinks (RTDs) continues to ramp up its investment on the African continent, with the acquisition of a further 26.43% in KWA Holding East Africa Limited (KWAL), Kenya’s foremost spirits manufacturer and distributor, from Centum Investment Company Limited. The African liquor giant now owns a majority shareholding of 52.43% in KWAL, having previously acquired a 26% stake from Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC) in 2014.
  • Netherlands-based private equity firm DOB Equity announced that in which in December 2016 that it had acquired a stake in Kenya’s Countryside Dairy, a Nyahururu-based facility with a processing capacity of 100,000 litres of milk per day.
  • Amethis and Metier to acquire East African FMCG firm, Kenafric Industries.. Two private equity funds have bought a 40% minority stake in Kenafric Industries as the firm eyes regional growth…popular products under the confectionery and culinary segments include Fresh brand of chewing gum and Oyo food additive. It also manufactures snacks and ready-to-drink juices at its plant in Nairobi’s Baba Dogo. The business, started 30 years ago by Velji Punja Shah and his four sons, is looking to increase its coverage of other East African countries, saying it currently sells 45% of its products outside Kenya.  

Hotels/Tourism

  • Simba Corporation acquired a 35% minority stake in Hemingways Holdings and plans to grow from its current three properties: the Olare Mara and Villa Rosa managed by world leading hoteliers, Kempinski, and Acacia Premier Kisumu, as Hemingways is the parent company of three iconic properties that represent the definitive portfolio of luxury travel in Kenya: Hemingways Watamu, Ol Seki Hemingways Mara and Hemingways Nairobi. The transaction also includes Express Travel Group, a subsidiary of Hemingways that provides comprehensive and high quality travel management services through its international franchise partnerships with American Express Global Business Travel and Europcar International as well as through Hemingways Expeditions, a premium Destination Management Company.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya authorized the proposed acquisition of control of Abercrombie & Kent Kenya (Abercrombie) by Yan Zhao Global, from A&K Cayman L.P and other minority shareholders
  • Thomas Cook India acquired Kuoni Travel specialists in 17 countries (includes Private Safaris E.A. in Kenya)
  • Accor Hotels will relaunch Tune hotel under the ibis Styles brand.
  • Older hotels – 680 and Boulevard, two older iconic Nairobi hotels have been recently bought by the Deputy President, William S. Ruto.

Logistics, Engineering, & Agri-Biz

  • Isuzu will become a 57.7% shareholder in Isuzu East Africa through the purchase of General Motors’ shareholding in the business. The other shareholders will remain as Kenya’s Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (20%), Centum Investments (17.8%) and Itochu Corporation (4.5 %).
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya authorized the proposed subscription for 24.99% shareholding in Trans-Century with 100% of the redeemable preference shares in TC Mauritius Holdings by Kuramo Africa Opportunity Kenyan Vehicle.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya authorized the transfer of 50% of the issued shares in Safal Building Systems to Mabati Rolling Mills.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of 100% of Kenya Kazi by Gardaworld
  • Rift Valley Railways (RVR), the company that runs the century-old Kenya-Uganda railway, has moved to court in a last-minute effort to stop the concession manager, Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC), from terminating its 25-year contract.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of Reunert Limited of 75.39% of the ordinary shares in Metal Fabricators of Zambia PLC.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of 40.7% of the ordinary shares and control of ARM Cement Limited by CDC Africa Cement.
  • Crown Paints to buy back 15% of its stock, the first company to do this.. now allowed by Kenya’s new companies law.

Oil/Energy

  • German-based solar electrification firm Mobisol has acquired pay-as-you-go off-grid (PAYG) solar industry software firm Lumeter.
  • Hass Petroleum sold a 40% stake to Oman Trading International to fund growth in Eastern Africa
  • Tullow Oil plc sold stakes in Uganda to Total Oil for $900M, and will retain 10% of that and of a $3.5 billion pipeline through Tanzania
  • Vitol Africa gets approval to acquire 19.91% of Vivo Energy from Shell Overseas Investments
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of indirect control in Dalbit Petroleum by Humphrey Kariuki Ndegwa.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of the retail petroleum business of Hashi Energy by Lake Oil
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of the retail petroleum business of Hashi Energy Limited by Lake Oil Limited
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of 100% of Gulf African Petroleum Corporation by Total Outre-Mer S. A. on condition that Total Outre-Mer S. A. comply with the following hospitality and employment conditions— including All agreements remain in force with relation to the Mombasa Terminal; and the merging parties are limited in the termination of employees of Gulf African Petroleum.
  • PIC South Africa will take up all shares not taken up in the Kengen Kshs 4.4 billion on offer. The South African government employees pension giant with $133 billion of assets will take up 351.2 million new shares at Kshs 6.55 each (totaling Kshs 2.30 billion) as other shareholders get diluted by 5.33% each e.g. The Kenya Government which was a 74% shareholder before, will have 70% afterwards.

Real Estate & Supermarkets

  • The Competition Authority of Kenya authorized the proposed joint venture between Helios Investment Partners and certain shareholders of Acorn Group.
  • Cytonn Investments Management (Kenya) to acquire a $10 million stake in Superior Homes.
  • Konza Tech City is seeking investors to apply for land to build campuses, BPO’s, offices, hotels, and student housing etc.
  • China Wu Yi acquires Sh530m Kilifi land.
  • In April last year, Mara bought a 45.5% stake in Naivasha-based Buffalo Mall for Sh. 440 million. Mara has valued its investment in Buffalo Mall at $6 million (Sh. 603 million), implying a capital gain of Sh. 163 million in less than a year. The mall now brings in 2% of the multinational’s total revenues and represents 2% of its assets. The property is however yet to make a profit, with the six months ended December showing a pre-tax loss of Sh.2.8 million.

Telecommunications, Media & Publishing

  • Vodafone sold a 35% stake in Safaricom to South Africa’s Vodacom (link)
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of certain passive infrastructure of East Africa Towers by Kenya Towers.
  • Catalyst Principal Partners has acquired a significant minority interest in Kensta Group, a 52-year-old East African printing and packaging company Kensta Group manages a diverse set of companies within East Africa namely Transpaper (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda), Express Automation (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda), Vivid Printing Equipment, Fusion Inks, Zenith Rubber Rollers and Phiramid (Zambia).
  • Kenyan IT multinational Craft Silicon has acquired a Sh51.5 million minority stake in restaurants listing portal EatOut, marking its second major backing of a local tech company. Craft Silicon is a founder-shareholder of Little, which is also backed by local telco giant Safaricom. (via Business Daily)
  • Deal undone: Ghafla Kenya CEO Samuel Majani spoke about how a Ghafla merger with Ringier unraveled and on a lot of the intricacies of the issues such as exclusivity, assets & liabilities, dealing with partners & other shareholders, and on merging staff, customers & systems.
  • Deal undone: a Merger with JamboPay was unstuck after a court finding, and the founder of JamboPay, the firm that supplies Nairobi County’s e-payments platform, won a protracted battle against a rival firm over use of its trade name.
  • Mara Social Media acquired global Instant Messaging & communications platform “Nimbuzz” which has over 200 million users and is available for Android, iPhone, and Symbian, MIDP, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and PC & MAC clients
  • Film Studios has been acquired by MoSound
  • MTN is to acquire MultiChoice Africa – owners of @DSTV & GoTV

Other

  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the acquisition of Section Investment by Kisima Management.
  • The Competition Authority of Kenya has authorized the proposed acquisition of 43.8% of Kinetic Holdings by Catalyst Kinetic Investments.

Safaricom Twaweza

Safaricom launched a new brand called Twaweza this weekend, at a swanky ceremony in marked contrast to past subtle changes to the logo of the company.

Director Sylvia Mulinge narrated the seventeen year history of the company from being a department at Telkom Kenya, to becoming Kenya’s largest company, with its ups (choosing to bill its customers per second for every call [which enabled it to leapfrog its competitor who billed per minute], rolling out Simu ya Jamii, 3G data, M-Pesa in 2007, and the Safaricom IPO and listing in 2008). She also listed some missteps made, such as rolling out unlimited data to customers, and slow upgrades to their network that led to infamous Friday congestion – and which then-CEO Michael Joseph attributed to “peculiar Kenyan” phone calling habits that.

Twaweza, announced by CEO Bob Collymore, signals the switch of Safaricom from being a telecommunications company to a digital lifestyle enabler for Kenyans to connect and do more with their lives using the Safaricom network and ecosystem.

Huawei in Kenya

Huawei Kenya held a media briefing at their Kenya headquarters near Lavington. This was refreshing as last year when they were to do a demonstration of the Nairobi Smart Cities project; they scaled it down as soon as they heard the Cabinet Secretary was not going to show up for the event.

Huawei has been operating in Kenya for 19 years since 1998. They have done lots of projects mainly in the telecommunications space; they rolled out networks for Safaricom and Telkom Kenya and also launched the Ideos, the $100 smartphone with Google and Safaricom.

The Huawei Kenya representatives spoke about ongoing projects with the government such as cloud services for the entire Kenya government, roll out of government fibre to all 47 counties, and police security & 4G networks. Since 2015 they also provide the software for M-Pesa for Vodafone to roll out across Africa and the world. They also provide about 2/3 of the infrastructure of Safaricom and also power M-Kopa solar payment systems.

Huawei is a $75 billion company with 180,000 employees (80,000 who work in R&D), and operate in 170 countries. It is entirely employee-owned by 81,000 employees in China while the founder/CEO owns  1.4% of the shares. They have 300 staff working in Kenya and provide about 100 scholarships a year for Kenyans to study in China.

In 2016, Huawei sold 139 million smartphones – (number three behind Apple and Samsung). They work hard to combat the reputation that Chinese means ‘low quality’ and Huawei is the world biggest patent filer, and have been granted over 62,000 patents. They spend over $10 billion a year in R&D – and build their own its own chipsets, batteries, and some phones have three antennas etc. to optimize their phones.

Simplifying M-Pesa Payments with 1Tap

As they announced their 2017 financial results today, Safaricom also unveiled 1Tap – the next step of innovation to drive increased financial inclusion in Keyna.

M-Pesa is ten years old and CEO Bob Collymore said that Safaricom was launching “Mpesa 1 tap”  which would reduce the number of steps to complete an M-Pesa transaction, currently about 8 steps on SMS and USSD, to just 1 step.

At the result announcement, the Safaricom CFO Sateesh Kamath said that while 75% of M-Pesa revenue was from traditional person to person transfers, 25% was new from new business like “Lipa na Mpesa” (pay with M-pesa) payments.

Buy Goods is free for customers, except at petrol stations which levy an additional charge, and just over a month ago, Safaricom announced a 50% tariff reduction for all Lipa Na M-PESA Buy Goods merchant fees – to 0.5% of the transaction amount. These were also was capped to Kshs 200 for any payments over Kshs 40,000 (~$400) while payments to merchants below Kshs 200 were made free. Lipa Na M-pesa is used by over 50,000 merchants and Safaricom plans to enable more kiosks, boda-bodas, newspaper vendors and other merchants who are in the informal sector where 80% of Kenyan work to receive such vital business payments at no cost.

Merchants can also get instant payments into their bank accounts at any of 23 partner banks (of the 40 banks in Kenya) from a Lipa Na M-pesa menu in their phones in just a few seconds – and this is useful as many of the merchants don’t have time to go to the bank to deposit cash.

With 1 Tap, all a customer needs to do is tap their cards on the mobile POS machines and then enter their secret M-Pesa PIN to confirm the transaction. Pilot testing for Mpesa 1 Tap has been ongoing in Nakuru where the service now has 13,000 customers and 900 merchants. Kenyans briefly got to see what NFC could work with the Beba Pay service a few years ago, with payments in public service vehicles.

Safaricom Exceeds Earnings Expectations, Powered by M-Pesa and Data

At their Nairobi headquarters today, Kenya communications company, Safaricom announced another record year with the release of the Safaricom 2017 results, which CEO Bob Collymore credited to a focus on customers, innovative products and improving operations.

The company reported revenue of Kshs 204 billion (~$2 billion), an increase of 15% from the year before, and an astounding EBITDA of Kshs 103 billion ($1 billion), up from 83 billion in 2016. M-Pesa growth was 33% to Kshs 55 billion as the number of active M-Pesa customers increased to 19 million – who do an average of 10 transactions a month. The number of customers also went up 12% to 28.1 million.

Later, their CFO said the results came even as customers enjoyed lower costs of voice calls, SMS and money payments. Under “M-Pesa” Kadogo, the company waived M-Pesa tariffs for payments below Kshs 100 ($1) in a push to drive financial inclusion and this led to an 88% growth in transactions in that band.

Chairman Nicholas Nganga said that “Sustaining this growth is key to the Board” as he announced that the contract of Bob Collymore had been extended for an additional two years. Collymore, in turn, said that at a time when several Kenyan companies were announcing job losses, Safaricom had added 500 new jobs during the year and would be adding another 270 mainly in customer care.

Going forward, Safaricom will be changing their earning outlook from projecting EBITDA to projecting EBIT (earnings before interest & taxes) – and for 2018 they project EBIT to be between Kshs 71 to 75 billion after capital expenditure of between Kshs 35 and 38 billion that will be spent in 2017/18.

Following the release of the Safaricom 2017 results, their shareholders will get a dividend of Kshs 0.97 per share, equal to 80% of the profit, is an increase of 27% from 2016 – excluding the one-time bonus dividend paid out last year. The payment will total Kshs 38.8 billion, and 35% of that goes to the Kenya government as the second largest shareholder after Vodafone.