Kenya Airways (KQ) shareholders have been asked to approve a balance sheet restructuring. They have known this day was coming for the last two years, but the KQ capital restructuring details will still be an initial shock to many of them.
The circular signed by Michael Joseph Chairman of the board cautions about the unsustainable debt levels at KQ and that the failure to restructure this, may lead to insolvency and closure. KQ’s Kshs 155 billion balance sheet has Kshs 113 billion of long-term debt and debt and 82 billion in current liabilities – resulting in negative 47 of KQ capital. The proposed deal will reduce the company debt by Kshs 51 billion and also unlock new funding. But this comes at a price and he cautions that minority shareholders will be significantly diluted,
In this conversion of debt to equity, but they can still buy shares at a discount.
Excerpts from the 38-page shareholder circular (see investor documents)
Individual shareholders: Each ordinary share is being subdivided into 20 shares one of which is interim and 19 of which are deferred.
- A KQ shareholder with 1,000 shares today will end up with 1,000 shares (initially they will be 250 shares) and 19,000 deferred shares. The ordinary shares will be listed on the NSE.
- The deferred shares have no share certificate, carry no dividend or voting rights, and are not transferable (tradable). The creation of this class is to prevent an unlawful reduction of the company share capital.
Board restructuring: the Government shall have two seats on the board, while KLM will have one. The banks will have 1 director for every 5% they own (through KQ Lenders Co.). 2/3 of the board are to vote on new CEO & finance director appointments, and on partnership agreements, fleet plans, and strategy. The circular notes the changes will enable faster decision-making and less conflict at the board.
- Shareholding before: Kenya Government 29.8%, KLM 26.7%, IFC (9.56%), Mike Maina Kamau 4.3%, others 30%
- Shareholding after: Kenya Government 46.5%, Kenya Banks 35.7%, KLM 13.7%, employees ESOP 1.9%, IFC 0.5%, Mike Maina Kamau
4.3% 0.2%, others 30%.
- KLM and IFC significantly reduce their shareholding edit.
- A new shareholders ESOP is proposed to be created and qualifying employees can buy up to 2% of the shares.
Shareholder Dilution: the existing Shareholders’ holdings of Ordinary Shares will be diluted by 95% as a result of the Restructuring and Employee Offer.
- A shareholder with 1,000 shares will end up with 1,000 shares (initially they will be 250 shares) and 19,000 deferred shares.
- The new shares will be consolidated after allotments are done i.e. mainly to the banks – so that meaningful trading can take place. (On completion, the company will have 7.4 billion ordinary shares and 28 billion deferred shares). KQ can’t also issue shares at discount to the nominal value, so a share split and an immediate consolidation will be done.
- For an illustration of the dilution Mike Maina Kamau remains with 64.4 million shares but that shareholding, which was equivalent to owning over 4% of KQ, is now 0.22% assuming he does not buy new shares.
- Shareholders can buy up to Kshs 1.5 billion of new ordinary shares, but new shares they buy are not tradable
The Government of Kenya: When he presented his budget speech earlier this year, Treasury CS Henry Rotich spoke of plans to restructure the KQ balance sheet in which the government could play a critical role and bring on board other stakeholders.
- They had earlier provided Kshs 24 billion in loans that is being converted to equity
- The government is will now providing in-kind contributions being the provision of government guarantees (not cash) of another 54 billion to US EXIM bank and Kshs 23 billion to Kenya banks.
KQ Capital and Kenya Banks: Kenyan banks are owed Kshs 23 billion plus interest, which they will convert to equity in a debt restructuring.,
- Also, a group of Kenyan banks has agreed to provide Kshs 18.1 billion in new financing.
- Eight Kenyan banks signed in on the deal on July 14.
- Kenya banks have two options of how to participate – either to convert debt into equity or to subscribe to a new “Kenya Lenders Co” in a secured debt arrangement. If any Kenyan bank that has lent to the airlines does not indicate its preference, it is deemed to have accepted the equity route – but a majority has opted for the scheme. These novel agreements are part of the new companies act that allows companies to discuss distress debts with banks as long as 75% of creditors approve.
- KQ Lenders Co. Ltd will be permitted to divest the Ordinary Shares it holds in KQ through the NSE and the sale proceeds will be used by MTC Trust Services to repay the Kenyan Banks loans;
KLM: will invest Kshs 7.5 billion through in-kind contributions of Kshs 2.7 billion, and will also subscribe for Kshs 5 billion (Kshs 2.5 billion of share in two phases) after settling some terms on employee number and aircraft leases.
- Also, the recently criticized master cooperation agreement between KQ and KLM (signed in December 1995) shall be terminated.
- KLM in-kind contributions include the slot (takeoff/landing rights) at London Heathrow currently used by KQ, and certain IT systems.
Don’t go to court: the circular warns that:
- The key risk in relation to the Scheme is that creditors and other stakeholders dispute the process, which may result in delays or in it being unsuccessful
- if the Restructuring is not implemented, there will be no amendments to any of the Existing Indebtedness and there will be no new money from KLM or the Government.
Way forward The circular from the Chairman notes that:
- shareholders representing over 56% of the issued and outstanding Ordinary Shares have indicated their intention to vote in favour of the Resolution at the EGM. Such Shareholders include the Government and KLM.
- .. Accordingly, the Board unanimously recommends all Shareholders to vote in favour of the Resolution to be proposed at the EGM as they intend to do in respect of the beneficial shareholdings of the entities they represent on the Board
- Transactions are expected to be completed in August 2017, which includes the shareholders meeting (EGM) on August 7 in Nairobi and signatures from aircraft financiers and the banks.
- 75% of shareholders have to vote at the EGM for the KQ capital restructuring to move forward.
KQ Capital Advisors: PJT Partners, Bowmans, White & Case (both legal), Kestrel stockbrokers, Redhouse, KPMG auditors, Deloitte (financial advisors), C&R Registrars. The exercise will cost about Kshs 25M with 9.8 million for lawyers and 14.4 million for transaction advisors
$1 = Kshs 103