Did Jimnah Mbaru make Sh. 900 million from Britam share sale?

Last week, prominent Nairobi Securities Exchange investor Jimnah Mbaru was reported to have made some Sh. 450 million after selling his shares in Britam. The businessman sold 50 million Britam Holdings shares to Zurich-based insurance giant, Swiss Re.

But now, fresh revelations indicate that Mr. Mbaru may have made some Sh. 900 million after selling the shares at double their trading price.

According to a report that appeared in the Business Daily on Tuesday, Mr. Mbaru sold the shares at Sh. 17 apiece, which was double Britam’s closing price of Sh8.50 on Thursday last week. The report further revealed that ahead of the deal with Swiss Re, for instance, Mr Mbaru last year acquired 30 million shares in the open market at a price below which he sold to the multinational.

Last year, Swiss Re also purchased over 300 million shares from Peter Munga. The multinational, which now has a 15.79 percent stake in Britam, did not disclose the price it paid in the deals with Mr. Munga and Mr Mbaru.

Africinvest’s stake of 16.2 percent emerged from a combination of being issued with new shares and buying additional stock on the NSE.

IFC was also issued with new shares, resulting in its 8.8 percent equity. The transactions have been motived by a need to raise new capital to fund the company’s growth and the founders’ desire to take profits and diversify their personal portfolios.

Increased purchase of the insurer’s shares by the institutional investors signals their confidence in Britam’s long-term future prospects despite its recent weaker earnings and share price rout.

Britam’s market capitalisation has dropped 62.8 percent from its peak of Sh. 57.6 billion in February 2015 to the current Sh. 21.4 billion, with the share price receding to the present level of Sh. 8.5.

Britam reported a Sh. 2.2 billion net loss in the year ended December compared to a net Sh. 527.4 million profit the year before, with the performance attributed to Sh. 3.2 billion paper losses on its listed equities investments among other factors.

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