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British American to raise Sh6b in IPO

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 10 – British American Investment Company says it plans to raise between Sh6 -Sh7 billion in an Initial Public Offering (IPO).

The holding company for British-American Insurance Company, British-American Asset Managers Limited and Britam Insurance Company Uganda Limited, intends to use the money to fund the group\’s regional expansion.

According to Group Managing Director Benson Wairegi the funds will also be used to finance the company\’s interest in property development.

The IPO is however still subject to approval by the Capital Markets Authority.

Mr Wairegi however expects the listing of the company on the Main Investment Market Segment of the NSE to be complete before June 30.

"This IPO will indeed give us an opportunity to increase the scope of our operations and widen our footprint.  Our strategic intent is to spread our wings even further to the rest of East Africa," Mr Wairegi said.

He said part from the regional expansion the company was also keen to take advantage of emerging opportunities in this market as well as enhance service and product delivery.

The company has appointed NIC Capital and KPMG Kenya to be the joint lead transaction advisors, Standard Investment Bank and Kestrel Capital are the joint lead sponsoring stockbrokers.

Mr Wairegi said the company\’s board was still in initial discussions and had not yet decided what stake of the company they were going to offer to the public.

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It is however expected to offer a stake above the NSE\’s minimum requirement of 25 percent.

"That\’s a matter for the board to decided at the Annual General Meeting to decided but it will be anywhere between 25 and 40 percent," Mr Wairegi said.

British American Investment Company is 37 percent owned by British American Mauritius while local investors own 63 percent.

Confidence by companies to use the bourse to raise capital has been high with NSE Chief Executive Peter Mwangi saying they were targeting five new listings.

"Investor confidence is high and therefore presents an opportunity for companies out there looking to raise capital to come to the market at fairly attractive valuations," Mr Mwangi said.

British-American group has grown tremendously since its inception in Kenya in 1965. It has evolved over the years, from a home service life insurance company to a diversified financial services group with insurance and asset management businesses.

The Kenyan subsidiaries have been successful in providing investment products and services and are market leaders in their respective jurisdiction.

The group now offers a wide range of products to individuals, small businesses, corporations and government entities.

The range of products includes life insurance, pensions, health insurance, and general insurance through its insurance arm of the business, while financial solutions which include, unit trusts,  investment planning, wealth management, off-shore investments, retirement planning and discretionary portfolio management are offered through its asset management business.

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Mr Wairegi said assets under management are estimated at Sh20 billion while in 2010 it managed a turnover in excess of Sh4 billion.

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