A consortium of investors from Central Kenya led by President Uhuru Kenyatta unsuccessfully tried to buy the Standard Group last year, before shifting their focus to Nation Media Group. The President reportedly approached key shareholders in the company, former President Daniel arap Moi and Joshua Kulei, but talks collapsed when Moi’s son, Gideon Moi, who is the Baringo Senator, asked for a premium price to for their shares.
The Moi family, Kulei and other close associates own over 90% stake in the Standard Group, Kenya’s second biggest media house. The company’s top three shareholders are S.N.G Holdings Limited (69.03%), Trade World Kenya Limited (10.90%) and Miller Trustees Limited (10.53%). These are believed to be companies associated with Moi family and associates.
The Standard has a presence in broadcast through KTN and KTN News and Radio Maisha; in print it owns Standard newspapers and The Nairobian weekly; as well as Standard Digital which runs online versions of the two divisions. It also owns advertising firm Think Outdoor.
It is this stable of media platforms that the Kenyatta family was hoping to access and own – very crucial in setting public agenda and ensuring positive press. But sources indicate Gideon Moi may have deliberately blocked Uhuru from buying Standard, which he would want to use to grow and protect his political ambitions.
According to sources familiar with the negotiations, Gideon demanded for Ksh 3.5 billion
After Uhuru ascended to State House, 35 years after his father, Gideon has been working to keep the Moi dynasty in politics alive and very few can fault him for nurturing presidential ambitions.
According to sources familiar with the negotiations, Gideon demanded for Ksh 3.5 billion, but when the Kenyatta family, through Muhoho Kenyatta, and Equity Bank CEO James Mwangi, who was also part of the consortium, delved into the accounts, they discovered that they had been ‘massaged’ for about three years.
“There was a hefty bank loan that had not been declared. The money was used to offset the 2016 staff rationalisation programme and then, there was a long list of litigation cases filed by employees who thought they had been let off wrongly,” one source told Business Today.
According to the source, it was after this discovery that then CEO Sam Shollei’s woes at the Mombasa Road-based company started leading to his eventual departure in September last year.
It is also said Gideon has requested his father to keep the media business as part of the family vast empire. “Gideon told Moi he can sell any other business but not Standard,” said another source close to the Baringo Senator. “He’s keen on controlling the media house for political reasons.”
From Standard, Uhuru and his corterie of investors, mainly comprising of rich guys from Kiambu and Murang’a counties, started strategising on how to attack NMG, Kenya’s biggest media house principally owned by His Highness the Aga Khan. Here, they seem to have already set one foot inside Nation Centre.
The Standard was established as the African Standard in 1902 as a weekly by Alibhai Mulla Jeevanjee, an immigrant businessman from India. Jeevanjee sold the paper to two British businessmen in 1905. The British-based Lonrho Group bought the newspaper in 1963, sold to Kenyan investors (including Moi who was then serving as president) in 1995.
100 schools join tree planting competition
In its fourth phase, they will compete in nurturing drought resistant Terminalia brownie, Senna siamea and Melia volkensi tree species in 0.5 acre...
Unlock pension fund capital to address the housing shortage in Kenya
Pension funds in the Kenya have traditionally invested in property, equities and debt instruments but there has been agitation to...
Why Balala cancelled Sh20m Shujaa sponsorship
CS says players embarrassed the country by concealing the name: Make It Kenya on their team jerseys, while playing in...
All-round approach will prevent tax offences and financial crimes
Kenya has become increasingly exposed to illicit products and counterfeit goods, hence the need to take an all-round approach towards...
Kenya’s GDP to hit 5.7% despite debt burden
Despite a debt increase, Kenya’s GDP is expected to reach 5.7% up from 4.9% last year, according to ICAEW’s (the...
DPP seeks to withdraw forgery case in Sh500m Karen land suit
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has requested for withdrawal of the case against Guy Spencer Elms, the lawyer accused...
Chebukati ‘out to fix Chiloba’
When Judge Stephen Radido delivered his ruling on Thursday setting aside IEBC chairman Wafula Chebukati’s decision to send the CEO,...
Pharmaceutical firm backs social investments in healthcare
Boehringer Ingelheim, one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies, and Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs, have held...
MKU ranked among 10 best universities in Kenya
Four local private universities in top 10 ranking of universities in the country.
4 MultiChoice traders win trip to watch World Cup in Russia
They will have an experience of a lifetime touring Petersburg, the Vodka Museum and enjoy a private boat tour along...