Nairobi, Kenya —In a move which analysts suggest goes to the heart of the Constitution regarding freedom of ownership, Swiss oil firm, Puma Energy, has kicked off its bid for a 100 percent takeover of KenolKobil with a declaration that it intends to offer minority shareholders the option of selling their shares through a mandatory general offer.
This follows the acquisition of a controlling stake in the listed company after it bought off the majority shareholders last week.
Through the offer, the minority shareholders will have to sell shares at the same price as majority shareholders to pave the way for the full takeover.
Once Puma Energy acquires all available shares, the oil marketing firm will effectively change status from a public to a private company.
In a statement to shareholders and business partners on Tuesday, KenolKobil Chairman and Group Managing Director Jacob Segman said the process will be governed by Capital Markets Authority (CMA) rules and regulations.
He added that through the potential transaction, KenolKobil will have better ability to finance operations, capital expenditure and other growth initiatives in petroleum and non-fuel development.
“Especially since early 2011, the Board of Directors of KenolKobil realised that the group’s shareholding structure may have to change in order for the group to continue being competitive and successful in its expansion program in Africa,” Segman said.
Last week, the CMA suspended trading on KenolKobil shares on the local bourse indefinitely to curb speculative trading.
Puma Energy is a subsidiary of Trafigura, the third largest petroleum trading company in the world which has interests in oil, coal and shipping among others.
Puma Energy is already operating in a number of countries in Sub Saharan Africa where it is trading in the middle and downstream markets.
Analysts view the decision of the company to compel minority shareholders to sell off their stake as illegal and could result in legal implications.