As most people are busy complaining how life is turning out to be difficult this January , this is not the same state to some top people in the country. They are busy bargaining in sealing multi-million deals.
Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA) has made a Sh1.4 billion cash offer to buy out Jamii Bora Bank, expanding the Kenyatta family’s business empire which transcends banking, dairy, real estate, hospitality and manufacturing sectors.
The Jamii Bora acquisition bid comes only weeks after CBA announced a reverse takeover of NIC Group, which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
The combined CBA, NIC and Jamii Bora business will rank as Kenya’s third-largest banking entity after KCB and Equity.
The three will have total assets of about Sh457 billion, rivalling KCB and Equity, which have assets of Sh684.1 billion and Sh560.3 billion respectively.
CBA is majority-owned by the wider Kenyatta family, whose members include President Uhuru Kenyatta.
People familiar with the underway transaction say CBA will hold Jamii Bora privately and also own a stake in the merged operations of CBA and NIC whose shares will be listed on the NSE.
CBA’s microcredit business, M-Shwari, is to be spun off to Jamii Bora while CBA/NIC will focus on their mainstay corporate and SME banking.
“Due diligence and negotiations have been ongoing since last year and the deal is likely to close in a matter of weeks,” said a source who is involved in the deal but requested anonymity to speak candidly.
CBA Group chief executive Isaac Awuondo declined to comment on the matter.
The Jamii Bora chief executive, Sam Kimani, announced his resignation from the lender on Wednesday and was succeeded by his deputy, Tim Kabiru, in an acting capacity.
At Sh1.4 billion, the buyout offer is a steep discount of nearly 60 per cent to Jamii Bora’s last published book value of Sh3.4 billion in March.
The lender has not released its half-year and third-quarter financials, having received an exemption from the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) to facilitate the ongoing buyout.
Jamii Bora’s shareholders could get more cash in addition to the purchase price, conditional on CBA establishing that the lender is on a firm financial footing post-transaction.
“Beyond the Sh1.4 billion, there is a further consideration based on the bank’s future performance,” the source said.
The additional payout, if it materialises, will narrow the current gap between the bank’s net assets and the initial compensation.