, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 25 – Centum’s Sh4.19 billion bond issue has been listed and is now trading at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).
Centum’s Chairman James Muguiyi said the firm was on course to become Africa’s foremost investment channel by positioning itself at the heart of mobilising local capital for the region’s projects.
“In our 40 years of operation, we have maintained a track record of asset growth from Sh6 billion to Sh19 billion thanks to diversification of business lines to multiply our revenue streams,” he said.
He assured investors of continued exploration of the continent for more investment opportunities.
“With Africa emerging as the newest frontier for economic activity, it is paramount that we invest our capital in our projects so that we are the ones in a prime position to reap the rewards,” he said.
NSE chairman Eddy Njoroge said that Centum is again setting trends in Kenya’s capital markets and cementing its relationship with the Exchange by being the first company in East Africa to list equity linked notes.
“The funds raised will be used to increase private equity investments through acquisition of controlling equity stakes in unlisted companies, fund existing real estate projects and pay existing bank debt,” he said.
“We applaud the innovations that the board and management of Centum Investment Company Ltd, continue to set and for continually using the capital markets to raise long term capital to grow their investment portfolio in Kenya and the region,” he added.
Following the debt issue, Centum has already deployed the funds through its private equity business to acquire 45 percent shareholding in Platinum credit – an East African emergency micro lender which currently serves more than 80,000 customers across the region.
The five year bond issue provides investors with the option of investing in fixed rate notes at a fixed interest rate of 13.5 percent per annum or in equity linked notes at a fixed interest rate of 12.75 percent per annum plus an equity upside linked to the growth of the Company’s Net Asset Value subject to a maximum of 15 percent of the par value of the notes.
The interest rate for both notes are payable semi-annually and will be redeemed in one instalment on September 11 2017.
Centum is targeting a Sh30 billion worth of assets under his management during the current strategic period ending in March 2014.
The firm is an investment vehicle that enables investors gain equity ownership in private and public companies that they would ordinarily not have access to help in bridge the gap between capital available for investments and investment opportunities.