Former NSE Director and Kenyan business tycoon Jimnah Mbaru has vended off his 50 million shares in Britam Holdings, one of the East African country’s largest insurance companies. Per Britam’s filings, Mbaru offloaded the shares in a private deal to Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd.
Jimnah Mbaru is the chairman of Dyer & Blair, a Kenyan firm which majors in regional investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services. Seventy-one years of age, Mbaru is one of the most seen faces in the East African country’s investment banking featured images. Britam is traded on the Nairobi Stock Exchange and has a market capitalization of close to USD 300 Mn.
While the financial details of the transaction remains a secret, the shares sold are worth no less than USD 4.4 Mn, according to the current share price of 8.8 cents at the Nairobi Securities Exchange. The deal, in a way, touts the Swiss insurer’s standing as one of the largest shareholders in the insurance space of Kenya, with a 15.79 percent stake.
It was in June of 2018 that Swiss Re ventured into Britam, acquiring a 12.81 percent stake in the company from a local businessperson known as Peter Munga. The deal, which is still subject to scuttlebutts due to the recent development, was done for a reported USD 48 Mn. The agreement makes the Swiss insurer the third largest shareholder in the firm, after Equity Bank and Plum LLP, who own 18.73 and 16.12 percent, respectively.
Jimnah who still has a board seat at Britam, is now left with 114,800,100 shares valued at Sh 1.4 Bn (USD 13,809,429). Culled from a 2017 Britam Annual report, Mbaru will remain the company’s top individual shareholder, followed by Benson Wairegi with 100,408 million shares, approximately. Peter Munga and James Mwangi, both of whom are Equity Bank owners, tie at third place, each having 75 million shares.
On the last day of December 2017, Britam’s entire shares stood at 2.162 billion with minority shareholders having 19.45 percent of its. In the past year, Britam’s founding shareholders, according to Forbes, have handed over the company’s reins to institutional shareholders. While the Kenyan business holds their shares at a teamed 39.2 percent, Swiss Re, International Finance Corporation and private equity firm Africinvest now hold a combined 40.79 percent stake. Alongside Swiss Re’s shareholding, Africinvest and IFC own 16.2% and 8.8% respectively.
African billionaire Mbaru, less than a year ago, exited the Nairobi Securities Exchange, a retirement about which he informed on social media to signal one the ends of his financial careers. He was formerly a director at the establishment, where he led most critical transactions in the Capital Markets including Safaricom’s IPO, Kenya Power Capital Base Restructuring, the PE investment by Helios into Equity Bank among many notable others.
Previously, as Chairman of African Stock Exchanges Association, a role which he played for the businessman played a crucial role in developing the capital markets in Africa and was central to the formation of the Uganda, Dar-es-salaam, Rwanda and Botswana Stock Exchanges.