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Transaction

Transaction adviser begins Kwal assessment

Privatisation Commission’s CEO Joseph Koskey said last week that the tender for a transaction advisor has been awarded and the winning firm started work late last month. He expects the transaction advisor to gather information and prepare a report within three months. This will then be taken to a steering committee for review then to Cabinet.

Visitors tour a Kwal factory. The wine agency is lined up for privatisation. FILE PHOTO | NMG

A transaction advisor has started conducting due diligence to advise the Privatisation Commission on best way to sell Kenya Wine Agencies Ltd (Kwal) to private investors, offering hope for conclusion of the sale. The Commission’s CEO Joseph Koskey said last week that the tender for a transaction advisor has been awarded and the winning firm started work late last month.He expects the transaction advisor to gather information and prepare a report within three months. This will then be taken to a steering committee for review then to Cabinet.

“Given that this deal had already received parliamentary approval, the process will be slightly shorter—If things go as planned, within six months, we should be concluding the process,” said Mr Koskey.The commission wants the deal concluded at the end of the year to build up on an earlier transaction that saw staff take up four per cent stake in the company.Kwal staff were offered shares at a price of Sh34.46 a piece, same as what South African firm Distell paid in 2014 when it acquired a 26 percent stake in the firm.This second phase seeks to sell the balance of shares through initial public offer (IPO) as was the case with firms like Safaricom.Transaction advisors in privatisation deals generally conduct due diligence on firms and recommend the best way to privatise and the level of shareholding to be retained by government.

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The commission has lined up 26 companies for privatisation, with that of Kwal being the one at advanced stage. However, Mr Koskey said the privatisation programme has been revised and will be shared in under two weeks’ time.The commission has already received approval from Parliament to privatise Hilton Hotel, Intercontinental Hotel and Mountain Lodge.The sale of five state-owned sugar millers -Sony, Chemelil, Nzoia, Muhoroni and Miwani – was supposed to have concluded by August last year but stalled at the tail end due to tussles over payment of farmers’ debts.

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