Dutch firm bids 100pc in Limuru Tea
Netherlands-based Puccini Bidco has offered to acquire 100 per cent of Limuru Tea after an earlier bid for a 52 per cent stake was rejected by smaller shareholders.
On July 4, 2022 Puccini Bidco B.V. operating under the local entity Ekaterra Kenya served Limuru Tea with notice of intention to acquire up to 100 per cent of the firm’s ordinary shares.
“Ekaterra Kenya has not set any minimum acceptance threshold for delisting from the NSE, however should Ekaterra Kenya acquire 75 per cent or more Limuru Tea may no longer meet the required conditions for remaining listed and Ekaterra may delist Limuru Tea from NSE subject to approval by CMA,” the company said in notice in local dailies.
Puccini, a special purpose investment vehicle majority owned by the CVC Partners had last year disclosed that it did not intend to buy the entire Limuru Tea but was instead set to buy the 52 per cent stake owned by Unilever.
The move was however contested by smaller investors who went to court to block the sale.
Limuru Tea closed July 4th, 2022 with a market capitalization of Sh768 million.
Limuru Tea Plc owns 282 hectares of tea plantations situated four kilometres to the east of Limuru Town. The Company is an outgrower to Unilever Tea Kenya Limited (UTKL).
UTKL provides management services to Limuru Tea Plc’s in manufacturing, selling and marketing of its tea.
The Limuru Tea estate green leaf is manufactured in the nearby UTKL’s Mabroukie factory from where it is sold for export at the Tea Auction.
The company’s annual report shows that the main shareholders are Unilever Kenya at 52 per cent, Stanchart nominees at 25 per cent, Hassan Popat at 3 per cent, Ropat Nominees Limited at 3.3 per cent, Alimohamed Adam at 2.5 percent, Equity Nominees at 2.1 per cent among others.
Unilever Plc announced mid last year, its intention to separate its global tea business including a spin-off from its tea interests in Kenya.
The sale of the business was triggered by a number of factors including the falling demand for black tea which has been causing a hit to its sales turnover. There are no preconditions to delist Limuru Tea from the NSE and shareholders are not obliged to respond to the offer.