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Gas Firms Share Prices Rally After Billionaire Buyout Bid

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The proposed acquisition of BOC Kenya by Billionaire Baloobhai Chhotabhai Patel triggered a huge investor interest on the counters of both listed firms, pushing up their share prices at the Nairobi Securities Exchange(NSE) today, Thursday, 26th November 2020.

When trading at the Nairobi bourse closed this Thursday, Carbacid Investment’s share price had gained 8.61% to settle at Ksh9.84. The counter recorded a volume of 75,200 in 36 deals that resulted in a turnover of Ksh739,506. Over the past 52 weeks, Carbacid’s share price has oscillated between Ksh 7.20 and Ksh 9.36.

Today the share price edged up 4.92% to Ksh69.25 on a volume of 1,300 shares that resulted in a turnover of Ksh 89,900.00.

This is as investors reacted to news about the intended acquisition by Carbacid Investments Plc & Aksaya Investments Plc of 100% of BOC Kenya Plc, another listed firm.

Carbacid Investments has put in an offer to buy all the shares of BOC Kenya, at Ksh63.50 per share or a price tag of Ksh1.2 billion. Listed at the NSE, the CO2 manufacturer has interests in mining, processing and marketing of natural carbon dioxide gas.

Aksaya is an investment vehicle owned jointly by Baloobhai Chhotabhai Patel and his wife Amarjeet Baloobhai Patel. The pair also own 40.38% of Carbacid Investments Plc or 102,913,592 shares.

The Asian couple also owns 0.45 % of Co-operative Bank of Kenya. Baloobhai Chhotabhai (Baloo) Patel has served as Non-Executive Director of Carbacid Investments Limited since 2002. He is also a Director of Pan African Insurance Holdings Limited.

BOC Holdings, which owns 65.38% of BOC Kenya, has undertaken to accept Patel’s offer, based on certain terms and conditions, before July 31st, 2021. This offer is also subject to there being no reduction of more than 15% in the net asset value of the company as at 31st December 2019.

Baloobhai Chhotabhai Patel
[/media-credit] Aksaya is an investment vehicle owned jointly by Baloobhai Chhotabhai Patel and his wife Amarjeet Baloobhai Patel.

This transaction is subject to approval of the Competition Authority of Kenya (CA) and the Capital Markets Authority(CMA). Apart from majority interest in Carbacid Investments Plc, Baloobhai has a stake in several listed firms including Co-operative Bank of Kenya, NCBA as well as other unlisted firms.

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Carbacid is the second-largest investor in industrial and medical gases manufacturer BOC Kenya with a 5.8% stake. BOC last attempt to acquire a stake in Carbacid failed some five years ago after the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) declined to give the deal a clean bill of health.

Carbacid is the major producer of carbon dioxide which is used to make fizzy beverages like soft drinks, among other applications. Established 80 years ago, BOC Kenya is a leading supplier of industrial, medical and special gases in East Africa.

Wide array of customers

BOC Kenya’s portfolio includes dozens of different gases and mixtures, as well as related equipment and services. Its customer base cuts across a large spectrum and includes public and private hospitals, food processors, civil and mechanical engineering contractors, motor vehicle body builders, hotels and restaurants and the informal business sector.

The company is a member of The Linde Group, a world-leading gases and engineering company with approximately 64,500 employees working in more than 100 countries worldwide.

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BT Reporter
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