Category Archives: Scangroup

Kenyan M&A

Compared to one year ago

On-Going Deals

Auto’s: – This week Al-Futtaim held a press conference to reaffirm their commitment to African market that is being spearheaded by their takeover of CMC  in Kenya.  More than anything the event was meant to showcase that the group founded in 1930,  but which few in Kenya had heard of before the deal, is a serious legitimate company (unlike shadowy China Road & Bridge that has a $3.8  billion contract to construct a standard gauge railway in Kenya.)

They have several car franchises 65 years of Toyota in UAE, Volvo, Honda vehicle assembly parts & service, used car business  and is also in engineering, financials services and the retail mall development business in the Middle East  and Asia

Al Futtaim  are long-term investors will retain the CMC brand as it has a 65 year good history that will overcome the last two bad years . But they will de-list the company as they believe that being a private company will give them the flexibility to move faster and reclaim customers and brands that have been lost such as Land Rover. 

Interestingly, the opportinuity to buy CMC was presented to them by one of their banks who knew of their interest in Africa. The company then had to work very hard to meet and bring the feuding key shareholders on board to back the buyout.

EDIT Kenya’s competition authority has now approved the acquisition of 100% of CMC Holdings by Al Futtaim Auto

Scania East Africa Limited  have taken over the purchasing, importing, assembling, fitting out, selling, servicing  of trucks, buses and chassis in Kenya that was previously carried out by Kenya Grange Vehicle Industries.

Actis buys 36% of AutoXpress, East Africa’s leading tyre distributor, with 20 stores in Kenya and Rwanda.

Merali and Sameer complete buyout of 14.9% of Firestone’s stake in Sameer Africa.


CBA returns to Uganda after 47 years.

Fina Bank has changed over its operations in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to GTBank East Africa after Guaranty Trust Bank concluded the acquisition of a 70% stake in Fina Bank Group for $100 million through combination of a capital injection and acquisition of shares from Fina Bank shareholders.  

Pakistan’s MCB Bank to acquire Kenya’s Middle East Bank (via the Standard).

Kenya’s  competition authority  has approved the acquisition of 73.35% of Genesis Kenya by Centum Investments.

Letshego Holdings  of Botswana has acquired Micro Uganda, a year after acquiring Micro Africa Ltd of Rwanda.

Food &  Beverage

Art Caffe acquired Dormans increasing their outlets from 4 to to 11 and giving them a presence in more shopping malls like Yaya, Karen and City Mall in Mombasa where Dormans had shops. However the Art Caffe were rankled by a quite in a local newspaper referring to their customers as being upmarket compared to Dorman’s ones. 

EDIT: Kenya’s  competition authority  has now approved the acquisition of 7 coffee shops of Dormans by Art-Caffè.

Pearl Capital partners have invested $1.5 million in KK Fresh Produce. 

Kenya’s  competition authority  has approved  the acquisition of Rafiki Millers  by Tiger Brands.

Kenya’s  competition authority  has approved the acquisition of Magic Oven Limited by Tiger Brands.


A Netherlands-based private equity fund, TBL Mirror Fund, has bought a minority stake in a high-end Nairobi salon chain that is seeking capital to expand across East Africa.


Kenya’s  competition authority  has approved the acquisition of additional 16.48% shareholding in Scangroup Limited by Cavendish Square Holdings BV. 


Kenya’s  competition authority has excluded the acquisition of 100% of Adcock Ingram Holdings Limited by CFR Inversiones SPA from the Act


South Africa’s City Lodge acquires Kenya’s Fairview Hotel  after Fairview Hotel firm agreed to sell the outstanding 50% of the joint venture 


Kenya’s  competition authority has approved the  acquisition of 66.38% of Phoenix of East Africa Assurance Company Limited by Mauritius Union Assurance

British American (BritAM) completes buyout of 99% of Real Insurance.


Kenya’s  competition authority  has excluded the acquisition of a 55% participating interest in Block 11A from ERHC Energy by CEPSA Kenya

Kenya’s  competition authority  has excluded the acquisition of a 55% interest in Block 2B in Kenya from Lion Petroleum by Premier Oil 


Precision Air  of Tanzania seeks a bailout from Kenya Airways? 

Transcentury to reduce stake in Rift Valley Railways (RVR)?

India  Exits

Ambani reports a Kshs 2 billion profit from Kenya real estate.. Ambani’s Reliance Industries in 2007 entered into a joint venture with Delta Corporation, which has developed high-end office blocks and a mid-to-low cost residential estate in Nairobi. Delta Corporation now says it plans to exit its real estate investments to venture into hospitality and gaming businesses. 

Essar to finalise sale of its Kshs 8.5 billion Yu stake in March ..the firm says it needs the Sh8.54 billion immediately and more cash in the short term to widen its footprint in Kenya and upgrade its network from 2G to 3G.

Essar also faces a Kshs 430 million hit in its Kenya oil refinery exit ..the government and Essar Energy Overseas are engaged in compensation talks following the Indian firm’s decision to exit the refinery.

New Deals

Agriculture: At Rea Vipingo, Bid Investments withdrew their offer and have signed up with Vania Investments who are offering a new Kshs 55 per share  bid – worth Kshs 3.3 billion ($39 million) –  for the company that will leave it listed at the NSE


There’s a potential change in ownership, at MyStrawberryStore 

Kenya’s  competition authority  has excluded the  acquisition of 999 Ordinary shares 

of My Kenyan Network Limited by African Jobs as the two have a combined turnover of Kshs 12.6 million

Regulator Issues

Pepsi came to Kenya and took on Coke but have not made much impact. They are now saying that has Coke been unfair ..PepsiCo says that rival bottle has been curtailing its marketing campaigns geared at gaining a larger share of Kenya’s soda market in the complaint to the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).
Synovate directors risk jail, hefty fines..Competition watchdog asks Tobiko to prosecute Ipsos-Synovate’s chiefs for failure to seek regulatory approval of the firm’s acquisition of its predecessor Synovate.
In South Africa The Competition Commission plans to address anti-competitiveness between retailers despite concluding its exclusive lease agreements probe.
The investigation established that the respondents (3 supermarket chains)  were dominant in certain local markets and that they would often compel landlords not to deal with competitors (by entering into exclusive lease agreements with landlords in return for agreeing to ‘anchor’ the centre).

JobsRwanda’s Agaciro Development Fund is seeking an investment office. Deadline is Feb 14.

Nairobi New Media Stocks, 5 Years Later

It’s been over five years since a wave of new media stocks appeared at the Nairobi Stock Exchange  (NSE) including Access Kenya Safaricom, and Scangroup. They are all in the news this month, but for different reasons.
For Access Kenya, the deadline for shareholders to vote on a takeover by Dimension Data was extended by a day due to a national Holiday last week, However, Dimension Data just announced that they have received acceptances from 75% of shareholders and approval the Competition Authority of Kenya and will now proceed with the takeover which will lead to a de-listing of Access Kenya at the NSE.
Safaricom shares seem to have stabilized in the Kshs 7-8 price range after spending quite a bit of time at Kshs 3/=, well below the IPO price of Kshs 5/= in 2008. This disillusioned a lot of retail shareholders who bought their shares hoping to quadruple them when they listed but then had to sell them at a loss. The company has since weathered many changes but remains the market leader in Kenya, thanks largely to M-Pesa and the floundering of their rivals (Orange, Airtel and Essar).
Scangroup got an investment from the WPP, in 2008 who gained a controlling interest for about $18 million. The shares traded at about Kshs 72, and while they have lagged other shares this year, this is still a tremendous gain from the IPO price from Kshs 10.45.
This week, WPP announced, that they would seek to increase their stake to just over 50% in a deal worth about $95 million. This will be done through a combination of cash, new shares and exchange of partnerships in joint companies (Ogilvy & Mather, Ogilvy Africa, Ogilvy (in Kenya, Tanzania, Mauritius) Millard Brown (East Africa, and Mauritius), and Hill & Knowlton (East Africa and Africa) which will become full subsidiaries of Scangroup over the next one year.

Scangroup & Ogilvy Redux

Scangroup shareholders today did their part and unanimously approved the proposed deal to buy into Ogilvy Africa as they also endorsed the creation and allocation of new shares to be swapped under the deal.

This will give Scangroup (thorough Ogilvy) an opportunity and footprint to enter about 8 African countries as a minority partner and links with 15 affiliates, and CEO Bharat Thakar mentioned that creation of a Pan-African agency was fulfillment of a long ambition and the only way to grow the company since the Kenyan (and east African) advertising market was saturated.

The deal still hinges on approval of South Africa authorities for the share swaps (otherwise Scangroup/WPP will have to pay $5 million to complete the deal). By using shares to complete the deal, Scangroup’s war chest of cash at WPP is still available and ready to be used to seek majority stakes from these new Ogilvy partners around Africa.

Scangroup & Ogilvy Africa

Edit September 2018: Ogilvy Africa has opened a Nigeria office ahead of the celebration of its 70th anniversary. The opening of the 24th office in Sub-Saharan Africa comes after an out-of court-settlement that the firm reached with Prima Garnet Communications who previously represented Ogilvy in Nigeria.

July 2010: At the end of April Scangroup announced a deal to buy into the Ogilvy Africa group and has now invited its shareholders to approve the transactions.

1. The acquisition of 51% in O&M Africa and 50% in Ogilvy East Africa will be structured as
O&M Africa: 51% is to be acquired by payment of $238,360 (Kshs 19 million) cash and transfer of 6.2 million shares of Scangroup worth Kshs 166 million.
Ogilvy East Africa: 50% will be acquired by payment of Kshs 13 million to Ogilvy South Africa (paid in US$) and transfer 4.4 million shares worth Kshs 118 million, and a payment to fellow shareholder Russell Holding of one euro and payments to Koome Mwambia comprising cash of Kshs 20.6 million and transfer of 3.12 million Scangroup shares worth Kshs 82.4 million.
2. Shareholders will have to approve the creation of 14 million new shares and waive their pre-emptive rights to allow the new shares to be allotted to Ogilvy South Africa and Koome Mwambia.

– Scangroup gains entry via minority shareholding in Ogilvy into Namibia, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Zimbabwe, Nigeria and non-equity affiliates in 11 other African countries to create a Pan-African agency.
– Koome Mwambia sells out his shareholding gets cash and becomes a top 10 shareholder in Scangroup and he is to enter into a management agreement to remain MD Ogilvy East Africa.
– MD Bharat Thakar gains a pan African footprint and loses just 5%.

– Local investment bankers: No transaction advisers were appointed and the IM only has an opinion from BDO East Africa that the issue price of Kshs 26.4 is fair and reasonable and that Deloitte’s calculation of this price (Scangroup now trades at Kshs 36).

– Kenyan corporates whose choice of partners in media, PR, advertising got smaller – as Scangroup, Ogilvy, Hill & Knowlton, Blueprint, Mindshare, Millard Brown, Squad Digital, Smollan are all under one roof.
– Scangroup if the share swaps are denied by the South African authorities, will have to pay Kshs 427 million ($5.2 million) to proceed.

New Media Companies Redux

It’s been two years since this blog post comparing Access Kenya and Scangroup which debuted at the Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) at about the same time. They are both back in the news this week for diverse reasons along with a third ‘new media’ company Safaricom, which debuted later in 2008 on the NSE.

Scangroup: has just announced plans to buy stakes of 51% in Ogilvy & Mather Africa and 50% of Ogilvy East Africa. (statement here) – two companies are both subsidiaries of UK’s WPP Group who own 27% of Scangroup.

The investor at the Scangroup notes that group has recorded growing ads in TV and radio but declining in print media. In 2009, the communications sector was their largest customers with 29% followed by finance at 15%. Scangroup has 61% of the advertising market in Kenya followed by Access Leo Burnett with 13% and then Ogilvy & Mather with 10% – while their plans going forward are to do more online adverting and take the Ogilvy as their main brand across Africa

a version of this Safaricom by Squad digital, a Scangroup venture appears in the NY Times pages

Access Kenya: are in the news (details here) following their postponed by another three months of the annual general meeting that was to have taken place yesterday May 4 and payment of their divided. The company has not commented beyond a press statement.

From the blogs: On AK – a year ago, they were very very liquid while as recently as two months ago, they were hailed as a must buy stock.
from Twitter @bankelele not a shareholder, but as a concerned proxy lack of info is bad. AK should issue a profit warning or cautionary statement on restructuring
@mainaT I figure if AccessK is struggling now when internet is a growth sector, its got issues & a cash flow problem that won’t go a way 4 a while…but, Centum did the same in late 08 early 09 when it was having Cflow issues that meant it couldn’t pay a dividend
@roomthinker: Access Kenya customers, used to their speeds were not surprised to learn their AGM would be late
@coldtusker Y announce a dividend if u have CF shyte? For AK to say, ‘no div coz expanding’ is easy & plausible. Or pay only 5 cents like safcom…I think this is a bigger issue… Sold off at 22 so dont really care but I think they are in play. AK cud always delay div after AGM…I think less of cashflow issue. More of a acquisition/takeover/sale matter [#nairumours]

Finally we have Safaricom who initiated a spat with the government [statement here] after the Minister for Information (gazetted new rules for the sector including a fair competition one (draft here) and accusing the government regulator, Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK) of seeking to curtail Safaricom’s growth through price controls and to allow competitors to increase their market share.

The next day the three other mobile companies, Yu, Orange, and Zain replied in a joint statement applauding the new rules and saying they were not targeted at anyone (read Safaricom) but anyone who abuses of a dominant position in the market CCK had adopted international practices to bring real competition to the mobile sector.

This is new ground for Safaricom – when Orange raised a fuss about the uncompetitive Kenyan market, it looked like GoK would side with large taxpaying Safaricom, but now that all the small (unprofitable, they admit) new mobile entrants have teamed up, some token measures are likely to be brought to rein in Safaricom which is estimated to control at least 80% of the mobile sector by most measures. How do you bring down Safaricom from 80% to 60%?