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Uchumi to issue 100 million shares

UCHUMINAIROBI, Kenya, May 14 – Uchumi Supermarkets has called in investors to buy 100 million shares once rights issues and cross-listing processes are completed in November 2013.

Speaking at the announcement in Nairobi, Uchumi Group Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Ciano said this is in a bid to seek additional capital to finance regional growth and expansion program as the chain seeks to consolidate its position in the market.

“In the next one year or so we plan to open around 13 retail branches across East Africa to competitively and strategically position our business and this will also require substantial capital spend,” Ciano said.

Ciano said that the company wants to proactively position itself and be able to adequately finance working capital for their subsidiaries, with a consequent growth in market share and sales volumes, reflective of demographic economic regional growth.

Ciano says they have already appointed transaction advisors to spearhead its proposed cross listing and rights issue processes.

“The process is expected to begin with the cross listing of Uchumi shares in three East African securities exchanges with a view to widen its shareholder base, and subsequently a simultaneously rights issue across Africa, ” he revealed.

The retail chain has picked and approved Faida Investment Bank as the Lead Transaction Advisor and Sponsoring Stock Broker, Equity Bank as Receiving Bank, Hamilton Harrison & Mathews Advocates as Legal Advisor, Ernst &Young as Reporting Accountants, Funguo Registrars and Hill &Knowlton Strategies as the Public Relations and advertising consultant.

The team will now embark on the preparation of the documents needed for the approval of the transaction by the regulators and securities exchanges in the region.

“We are confident that we now a competent team to assist us achieve this goal within the stipulated time,” he said.

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