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Govt dismisses Safaricom IPO suspension calls

NAIROBI, March 26 – The government remained adamant that the much awaited Initial Public Offer (IPO) for mobile service provider Safaricom would open on Friday as planned despite protests from the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) leaders.

Investment Secretary Esther Koimett said Wednesday that the programme to off load 25 per cent of the State’s shares in East Africa’s biggest mobile-phone operator would go on.

On Tuesday ODM Secretary General Anyang’ Nyong’o called for the suspension of the IPO until the full ownership of the services provider was established.

Questions have been raised over the owners of a company called Mobitelea which has 10 per cent shareholding in Safaricom.

At a meeting with the offer’s transaction advisors, Koimett said the transaction started when Telkom Kenya’s sale commenced in the 1990s.

She said since then CDS accounts capacity increased from 800,000 to 8 million.

She asked investors not to look at the value of the share, which is priced at Sh5 but focus on the total value of the company, which is Sh200 million.

Safaricom plans to raise Sh50 billion through the sale of 10 billion shares in what will be the region’s biggest floatation.


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