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Centum Retires Sh6.6bn debt amid coronavirus crisis

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jun 10 – Centum Investment Plc has repaid all the outstanding debt on its five-year corporate public bond worth Sh6.6 Billion.

In a statement, the investment firm says the repayment is inclusive of accrued interest and a variable return to holders of the Equity Linked Note component.

The retiring of the firm’s medium and long term debt follows the settlement of an Sh7.8 billion dollar-denominated loan in September last year.

Centum Investment Group CEO James Mworia said the milestone is one of the five core pillars of Centum 4.0 Strategy.

“I am pleased that 14 months into the Centum 4.0 strategy period and despite the difficult economic environment which has been exacerbated by the economic shocks arising from the Covid – 19 pandemic, we have delivered on this critical strategic objective. We have in the same period significantly enhanced liquidity which is the second aspect of this strategic pillar by Sh6.7 Billion,” he said.

Centum’s rationale of the strategic pillar of balance sheet strengthening and liquidity enhancement was to build balance sheet resilience and to release more than Sh1.8 Billion that the company was spending annually in debt interest costs, to re-investment and future dividend enhancement.

It was also intended to place the company in a good position to take advantage of emerging opportunities especially in private equity and marketable securities business lines.

Mworia said the global economic crisis arising out of the Covid -19 pandemic had validated the appropriateness, importance, and relevance of focusing on balance sheet resilience and having a strong liquidity position.

“As we enter the economic recovery cycle Centum’s strong liquidity and balance sheet position has put it in a strong position to take advantage of investment opportunities that will emerge given the significant corrections that have taken place on valuations of even very strong companies, the growing need by companies to shore up their equity capital positions and the general capital flight from frontier and emerging markets to developed markets,” he added in conclusion.

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