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Foreign Investors To Take Over Kenya Airways In Share Sale Plan

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The government has floated plans to cede a controlling stake in Kenya Airways (KQ) to foreign investors in a bid to return the national carrier to profitability.

According to Treasury Principal Secretary nominee Chris Kiptoo, the government will look fo a strategic investor to inject capital and provide a turnaround expertise to the airline.

“It is time to relook the national carrier and ensure that it continues to operate without government support. We need to bring in a strategic investor,” Dr Kiptoo told the National Assembly Finance and National Planning committee.

Currently, the government holds a 48.9 percent in KQ, with a number of shareholders who converted their debt into shareholding having a 38 percent stake.

This is not the first time the government is turning to foreign investors to boost KQ’s fortunes. In 1995, the state sold a 26 percent stake in KQ to Dutch airline KLM. The government further sold a 22 percent stake to local shareholders through an initial public offering at the Nairobi bourse in 1996. The deal offered KLM seats on the KQ board, the right to appoint certain executives, in particular the CFO, and act as the technical partner for the national carrier.

Currently, KLM holds a 7.76 percent stake in KQ.

The carrier has been making losses in the last 10 years, attributed to operating costs as well as management issues.

In the half-year ended June 2022, KQ reported a Ksh9.8 billion loss as compared to a Ksh11.48 billion loss recorded in the same period in 2021.

It booked a further Ksh5.3 billion loss on hedged foreign exchange differences, driving its total comprehensive loss to Ksh14.9 billion, a worse showing than the Ksh9.8 billion reported in a similar period in 2021.

Read: Court Orders KQ Pilots to Return to Work as Losses Mount

>>> Court Orders KQ Pilots to Return to Work as Losses Mount

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BT Reporter
BT Reporterhttp://www.businesstoday.co.ke
editor [at] businesstoday.co.ke
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  1. No need for foreign investors taking over the governments stake, let them take 50% of that stake 50% of the same be sold to Kenyans, disband the KQ management board, get a lean management team in place benchmark on Ethiopian airlines. Most important cancel most of plane leases and relook into the lease agreements.


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