Category Archives: Total

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.

France & Kenya and Renewable Energy

Yesterday there was forum on renewable energy in Nairobi. It was organized by the Embassy of France and the Kenya government to show executives from French energy companies opportunities to invest in renewables and other energy projects in Kenya and Africa. Aqylon, Engie, GreenYellow, Quadran,  Sogea Satom, Total , UrbaSolar, Vegrent, and Vinci representatives were part of the group.

French companies built hydro dams in Kenya

French companies built hydro dams in Kenya

Excerpts

  • Large silent corporations include Engie which produces 3 GW in Africa and Vinci which has EUR  800  million of revenue, and 14,000 staff in Africa.
  • SUNREF from AFD/KAM provides tailored finance for green energy to Kenyan companies through Bank of Africa,  CBA,  Diamond Trust and Cooperative Bank. 11 companies have now been financed, and some that have got SUNREF green energy finance include KTDA, Meru dairy, Strathmore University, and Redland Roses.
  • Kenya has 10 independe power producers (IPP’s) producing 650 MW (28%) of its electricity – shows how vibrant it is for investors.
  • Regional electricity sharing in future: Kenya produces 2,200 MW, Ethiopia 4,284 MW (90% from hydro), Tanzania 1,583 MW (65% from thermal), and Uganda 900 MW (80% from hydro)
  • GreenYellow works with factory, malls, hotels, to finance & build (heat/cold/solar/light) systems that reduce their energy costs by 30%
  • UrbaSolar is working with Kenyatta University on a 100% self-consumption plant that will reduce electricity bills by 80% (20% is night).
  • Total is constructing a 40 MW solar plant at Isiolo with Green Millenia, while Kenya’s rural electrification authority (REA) has got funding to do a 50 MW one near Garissa.
  • KenGen which provides 80% of Kenya’s electricity, has tendered for an Olkaria 5 plant, and will build an industrial park there.
  • There’s opportunity in Kenya off-grid & mini grid electricity, but there’s no legal framework for integrating with the national grid integration & projects sometimes face land acquisition or compensation delays.
  • Solar has not picked up in Kenya, but with drop of photovoltaic prices, there’s lots of interest here now – Energy Permanent Secretary J. Njoroge told the companies..  He also said renewable energy is intermittent – it can only be used up to a certain % of Kenya’s electricity grid supply. Later there was  mention of CSP solar plants which are more complex & expensive than traditional PV ones which but do give stable solar electricity.

Kenyan Consumer Guide on Solar for Homes

Kenya is currently the largest market for solar home systems on the African continent and second largest in the world, after China, by both annual sales as well as total installed base. The Kenyan solar home system (SHS) category is considered the most competitive by far, and due to its history and heritage, one of the most developed, albeit primarily in the informal sector.  Today, there are over 350,000 solar home systems across Kenya and the market is still growing at more than 15% a year.
What does this mean for you, the consumer?
 Variety of solar options for rural households
Choice:  With so much to choose from and new products, services, and business models being launched, how can you evaluate what kind of solution would work best for your household needs?
Not only is there something for every budget but big names such as Safaricom, Total, Dayliff (Davis & Shirtliff), Sollatek and the IFC with its “Lighting Africa” initiative, all have something to offer.  Do you go with the brand that is backing the product or do you evaluate the category of product and its suitability for your home?
Let’s start with what are the categories of  “solar products” and then take a closer look at each brand’s offerings.  The products available in the market can be clustered broadly into the following:
1. “SHS in a box” or “Lighting kit in box”
2. Stand alone solar lanterns
3. Emerging “pay as you use” business models
4. Solar home systems (SHS)
1. “SHS in a box” or “Lighting kit in box”:  Today, complete kits like the one shown below are available in certain electrical shops around the country. This particular one, sells for somewhere around Kshs 15,000 (~$175)  and includes a motion sensor security light as well all the components required for installation.
They are available in three main sizes – small, medium and large – but keep in mind that since brands like these are social enterprises, they are aimed at the lower income demographic – and the 15W kit shown above is the ‘Large’ size but is limited to providing only lights, and will not be able to power a television set or a stereo system. Note also that the battery is not included. Depending on the brand, expect to pay around Kshs 4000 to 6000 extra.
An alternate type of kit is the Phillips one shown below, meant for middle-class urban homes as a backup for electricity power cuts.  Available at selected Nakumatt supermarkets for Kshs 6,000 ($70), this is one of the most expensive backup solar light kits in the market,  however, the elegant design and details such as a wall mounted light switch make it an attractive option for the upwardly mobile home.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Philips kit
The advantage of this type of complete kit is that all the components are ostensibly designed to work seamlessly together and everything necessary to the system up and running is available in one box.  This approach addresses one of the biggest challenges with SHS in Kenya which is the dearth of well-trained fundis (technicians/installers/repairmen) with the experience and knowledge of designing a solar home system.
The disadvantage of such a system, however, is that it is limited to the components provided, in that one cannot simply add on and build a larger system. Some of the best-provided homes in off-grid rural locales have extensive installations built up over time to power their entire homestead and numerous electrical appliances – so when choosing what kind of system to purchase, keep your future needs in mind.
2.  Solar Lanterns:
Total sign

Due to donor-funded support from institutions such as the IFC, whose Lighting Africa initiative offers market research information as well as quality audits on products, the Kenyan market is flooded with a large variety of solar lanterns, both with the ability to charge your mobile phone and without.

Total, for example, distributes d.Light’s solar lanterns at its retail petrol stations, while Nakumatt picks and chooses which products it will carry according to the needs of the location their outlets serve.   The basic light sold at Total costs Kshs. 999 ($12)  while the larger model which allows you to charge your mobile phone as well can go for upwards of Kshs. 3,000.
Powerpoint at Twiga

Given the wide variety and choice available in the Nairobi market, one can choose according to design and price as per one’s preference.  However, these solar solutions are limited to a single light and the vast majority of products tend to have the panel either embedded in the light source or attached to it permanently, limiting their flexibility.

Powerpoint’s outlet in Twiga Towers is one of the few reputable solar specialists specializing in serving the needs of urban Nairobi’s market.  As you can see, the range of solar lighting and solar lanterns offers something for everyone.  If you’re thinking of something solar for your household, that’s a great place to start your fact finding trip.
ToughStuff
 Here, ToughStuff’s ecosystem of products built to work independently around a durable solar panel – available at Nakumatt – offers you flexibility in terms of whether you want only a lightweight portable mobile phone charging solution or if you’d prefer a light or both.
3. (Pay as you go) Mobile Business Models for Solar products: With Safaricom’s launch of the M-Kopa business model, customers now have the choice of paying for a solar product using M-Pesa over an extended period of time. The solar light is from d.light such as that available via Total.  Their kit contains 3 bright lights and a mobile charging system, similar to the “Kit in a box” described above.  The business model is designed to automatically deduct Kshs 40/= ($0.47)  from your account in order to use the lights until the point where you own the system. Alternatively, the complete kit can be obtained for Kshs. 15,000 ($175) upfront.
Another is Eight19’s Indigo pay as you go solar that seems to be piloting in Kenya. Here they use vouchers or scratch cards to top up your charge rather than directly via the SIM card. This is however still in the pilot stage as the company websites do not yet show a Kenyan outlet.

4. Solar home systems (SHS): Known colloquially in upcountry locations as “sola”, the basic SHS consists of a solar panel, a battery for holding the charge,  between 2 to 4 fixtures for holding energy saver bulbs (known informally as “solar lights”) and the requisite wiring.  These kits can cost as little as Kshs 10,000 ($118)  including installation and tend to be the starting point for many homes seeking modern energy systems.

From here, one can build up to including inverters and larger panels such as the 100W-120W kits popular in Maasailand, that are able to power flat screen Sony Bravia televisions, kitchen appliances and the latest stereo systems in addition to lighting the home inside and out.  Colour television and new digital systems require 60W at a minimum in order to work. Such panels alone cost around $200 upwards but prices are very rarely displayed and often negotiable.
For a household in Nairobi,  an SHS  would be the first recommendation. Dayliff is probably one of the most credible brand names, as long as the technology is German. (Be sure to the check the back of the panel to ensure this).  Ubbink is a newly launched brand that fundi’s consider to be efficient and high quality. It is manufactured by a Dutch company establishing Kenya’s first solar panel factory in Naivasha and their panels are smaller than average offering higher wattage and more affordable cost due to lack of import duties and transportation. Check them out. Its a commonly held fallacy that physical size of the panel is important.
Do’s & Don’ts on How to buy an SHS:   (also applicable to the other options above)
 
* Do find a reputable fundi with references and experience in calculating your power requirements and designing the requisite home system. This is the biggest reason for customer unhappiness with the performance of solar energy.
* Don’t try to talk to all and sundry and make up a list of components yourself. This is another major reason for inadequate systems that fail to meet customer needs.
* Do your homework, however.  Nairobi’s CBD is the heart of the solar power industry for the entire country and the latest products are seen here first.
 * Don’t go window shopping without a list of minimum requirements on what you wish your SHS to be able to power and for how long.
* Do have an idea of your estimated budget. For a 3-bedroom house in  Nairobi, it’s possible to start as low as $500.
* Don’t let the salesman confuse you until you simply give up and plunk down the money for the nearest panel.  Take the time to think over what you really need to purchase.
* Do keep in mind that SHS are modular and an experienced fundi can help you figure out your starter kit on which you can keep adding over time as budget permits.
Photo and market research courtesy of @nitibhan

Urban Inflation Index March 2012

2012 was expected to be an election year, which for Kenya are unfortunately marked by low economic growth, but this weekend, the electoral authority made an announcement that the next general elections would be held in March 2013.

A quotes from the above referenced post by Wolfgang Fengler, the World Bank’s Lead Economist for the region reads;

Since 1980, Kenya’s economy grew by an average of 3.4 percent. However, in election years, the average growth rate was only 2.4 percent, and growth was even below 2 percent in four of the election years. Equally challenging has been the management of post-election dynamics. Kenya achieved a modest 2.7 percent in post-election years, and three of the last six elections were followed by low-growth, especially in 2008, when post-election violence disrupted the country’s achievements of previous years.

It’s also been incredibly hot & dry in Nairobi and we all hope that the upcoming March/April rains will restore some supply balance for agriculture (food prices) and energy (hydro electricity costs)

On to the index comparing prices of basic urban commodities to three months ago, a year ago and even four years ago when the country was still dealing with the disruptive after-effects of the controversial December 2007 election.

Gotten Cheaper

Fuel: Petrol prices were reduced again last week to Kshs. 111.6 per litre (~$6.12/gallon) for Nairobi, down from Kshs 124 in December 2011. However a year ago the price was 98.8 (when the price control regime had just been introduced) and four years ago, after the election, a litre of petrol cost Kshs 87.9.

Staple Food: A 2kg pack of (Unga) Maize flour, which is used to make Ugali that is eaten by a majority of Kenyans daily, costs Kshs. 97 down from Kshs 113 in December 2011. However last March it was Kshs. 80 and four years ago (Feb. 2008) it cost Kshs 52.

Other food item: Sugar: A 2 kg. Mumias Sugar pack which was Kshs. 375 in December is now Kshs 245. However a year ago it was Kshs 195, and other commodities normally bought alongside it (bread & milk) have had steady price rises this year.

Foreign Exchange: 1 US$ equals Kshs. 83 compared to 84 in December 2011. This is exactly where it was last March 2011 before the Kenya shillings began a (now controversial) slide to Kshs 107 against the dollar. In February 2008, the dollar was exchanged at Kshs 70.7.
About the Same

Communications: Telephone call and data rates are largely unchanged, but Safaricom announced new rates for m-pesa including a slight increase for some transfers, but they also reduced the minimum amount that can be sent, opening the way to micro-payments. Meanwhile Airtel, who have set the low call regime over the last two years, appear to have reached an about-turn moment with their Chairman calling review of that strategy.

Utilities: Pre-paid electricity is about Kshs 2,500 per month which is unchanged from the last review. I finally got a coherent explanation from a @KenyaPower employee on how you get hit with extra taxes if you buy more than a certain amount of Kwh units.

LPG: Cooking gas supplies seem to have resumed stability for now, but at a price of about Kshs. 3,000 ($37) for a 13kg cylinder, up from less than Kshs. 2,500 before. Personally, I ditched my total LPG cylinder for a Kenol one as Total petrol stations never seem to stock enough for customers.

Beer/Entertainment: A bottle of Tusker beer is Kshs 180 ($2.2) (at a local pub), unchanged from three months ago..but it was Kshs 120 in 2008.

More Expensive
N/A

Generally prices have come down, but life is more expensive than what it was four years ago when the last election was concluded. However there could be some slight relief in slight for urbanites as the Kenya Cabinet approved the VAT bill 2012 which removed VAT from maize, wheat flour, milk, bread and medical supplies.

The Total Motor show took place this last weekend in Nairobi (Friday 9th to Sunday, September 11, 2011). It was interesting as usual, but this time it was at KICC unlike the last one that was at the Ngong Racecourse. With the weaker shilling, and higher petrol prices, there was a noted change in some vehicle prices and more companies offering more efficient vehicle management solutions.

Some notable moments:

Companies like CMC (Ford, jaguar, Volkswagen) and Toyota did not display prices, but it was a shock to hear that a Toyota Corolla 1.8, cost Kshs 3.3M ($36,000) which is about three times the price people pay for used import models.

Public Service Vehicles: Companies like General Motors have their Isuzu’s ready to ride on the Government’s plans for larger PSV vehicles and they had a pimped out matatu – the NPR that costs Kshs 4M ($43,000), and an Isuzu FRR model (Used by many Citi Hoppa’s operators and which costs Kshs 5.8M ($63,000) and an 62- seat bus that was Kshs 9.4M

Trucks: These were a plenty, but the the truck king of the road is the Mercedes Actros; new models of these can be bought via D.T. Dobie at a cost of €93,500 (~Kshs 12.2 million) and each order is customized to the buyer’s requirements before it is built. The popular Mitsubishi FH215 is Kshs. 5.1M

Luxury: Head to head in the luxury department were BMW (from Simba Colt) and perennial market leader Mercedes (from DT Dobie) who had a range of cars, priced with and without duty/tax (an option for diplomat’s, Government and NGO buyers). BMW had the X3 at €60,000 )Kshs 7.8M) while Mercedes had the ML350 for €110,000 (kshs 14.3M). BMW had the 3-series for €47,000 (~Kshs. 6.1M) while the C200 Mercedes was €60,000 (or €34,000 duty free), and BMW also had the 5-series on show for €60,000 while Mercedes had the E200 for €78,000 (~Kshs 10.1M) or duty free for €48,000 (~Kshs 6.25M)

Pick-Up/SUV: DT Dobie has the Nissan NP 200, launched at the 2009 motor show at Kshs 1.2 million, but which now costs Kshs 1.87 million and CMC had a new Volkswagen pickup that was not priced. Mitsubishi had an L200 double cab at Kshs 4.1 million, an update of the popular Pajero at Kshs 6.5 million, while Mahindra had pickups ranging between Kshs 2.4 – 2.9 million.

With rising fuel prices, fuel saving solutions on offer include Stoic (touting to save up to 40% on fuel prices) and Fuel max (sold by Kiprin Enterprises – and enticing with savings of up to 50%). Other energy savers were Solar powered lanterns called Total Sola from sponsor Total. Better driving solutions were offered by Glen Edmunds driving school for defensive driving while Scania had one for long distance truck drivers that are purported to save 6 litres per 100 kilometers driven (from the current average of 40 litres over 100 kilometers) and which also brings better tyre and break wear

Other: Toyota also sell Yamaha motor bikes including a 106CC model which comes with a free helmet, reflect jacket, registration and one year warranty (or 6,000 km)

Car Tracking : Companies included Rivercross tracking (who also install a fuel fuel monitor that warns when truck drivers may be selling diesel from their trucks) as were other companies like Retriever, and Cyber Trace.

Online Classifieds: Car buyers and sellers had cheki and dealfish (which is free for buyers & sellers)

Banks: Banks in the auto finance sector were represented at the show including NIC, KCB, Equity, Imperial, Co-Op, Chase and CFCStanbic. Co-op have PSV financing (aimed at Sacco’s) and school bus financing (unique application requirement are board of governor approval and minutes, and ID, fees structure of school.

Apprentice: A motor show surprise was a twitter conversation with @karuoro and @mediamk on the prevalence of former D.T. Dobie mechanics who are specialists in Mercedes.

– @bankelele: I know about 3 garages run by ex-DT Dobie mechs (it’s like a badge of honour)
– @mediamk: those mechs are amazing, I wish this was the case across different industries (as) apprenticeship is a good way to grow an industry.
– @karuoro: “The industry leader is obliged to be a net supplier of talent to the industry” – Linus Gitahi (@LGTwits) …I think quite a number are licensees

.

The D T Dobie apprenticeship mechanic program is open to all Kenyans, male & female, who are less than 22 years and obtained KCSE C+ in English physics and mathematics. Though subsidized it will cost Kshs 50,000 ($550)per year for three years after which staff will be bonded for 3 years. They also accept self sponsored applicants who will pay Kshs 140,000, and the application deadline is 30 April 2012.