KQ investors want ex-Safaricom boss Michael Joseph on board

September 29, 2016
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The vote results are due October 5, 2016 and if voted in, Joseph will replace Vincent Rague who is retiring and did not offer himself for re-election/FILE
The vote results are due October 5, 2016 and if voted in, Joseph will replace Vincent Rague who is retiring and did not offer himself for re-election/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 29 – Kenya Airways shareholders have voted to have ex-Safaricom Chief Executive Michael Joseph join the board.

The vote result is due October 5, 2016 and if voted in, Joseph will replace Vincent Rague who is retiring and did not offer himself for re-election.

Shareholders however put pressure on the airline’s Chairman Dennis Awori to explain why Joseph did not attend the AGM, but Awori maintained that it was in line with the law since he sent a proxy.

He termed Joseph as a resource to the airline considering his performance track record.

“Michael Joseph track record is very well known, when he took Safaricom from where it was to where he handed it over to Bob Collymore. I am sure that track record played a very significant part in the nomination that we received for him to get on to the board,” Awori commented later during a media briefing after the AGM.

Others directors who offered themselves for re-election include the Treasury Principal Secretary Dr Kamau Thugge and Transport counterpart, Irungu Nyakera.

The move comes even as the management and the board continues with the turnaround strategy that will include staff reductions that may affect about 600 employees. About 80 of them have already left the airline.

The national carrier has also indicated plans to sell a stake to foreign institutional investors in a bid to raise an undisclosed amount of cash. The government is still examining proposals for recapitalisation.

“Today we are talking to about three or four parties and that’s not an exclusive group. As the momentum builds up and as we get closer, I am sure there might be other interested parties,” KQ CEO Mbuvi Ngunze said.

READ: KQ in talks with foreign investors to buy a stake for cash

The carrier is also talking to its creditors, including banks to amend terms of its debt and provide it with sufficient funds for operation in the short term.

KQ posted Sh26.2 billion net loss in its 2016 full year results impacted by Sh9.7 billion foreign exchange losses.

This is a marginal loss increase compared to Sh25 billion losses it made in 2015.

The losses are also attributed to increased cost of borrowing in the period under review incurring an additional Sh2.3 billion in interest expense.

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