KenolKobil Ltd. (KNOC), Kenya’s biggest fuel-retailer by market value, surged to the highest in more than six years after resuming trading on the Nairobi Securities Exchange following a six-week suspension on a takeover proposal.
The shares climbed as much as 20 percent and were trading 8 percent stronger at 13.5 shillings by 12:02 p.m. in Nairobi. A close at that level would be the highest since February 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Trading was suspended after KenolKobil said on May 8 that its main shareholders plan to sell more than 25 percent of their stake in the company to Puma Energy BV, a Geneva-based subsidiary of Trafigura Beheer BV. The proposal, which is subject to regulatory approval, may result in Puma taking a controlling stake by acquiring all shares in KenolKobil, the Nairobi-based company said.
“When the deal was first announced traders in the market didn’t have much information or time to take advantage of it before the suspension,” said John Kamunya, research analyst with Sterling Investment Bank Ltd., by phone from Nairobi. “Investors are interested because Puma could offer a higher price than the share price and that would push up the value of the company.”
Gains may be capped after the company said yesterday that profit in the year through December will be “materially lower” than in 2011, damping investor optimism, said Kamunya.
“The profit warning may hold down shares a little bit,” he said. “There had been indications from the company already, though, that they expected losses around fuel hedging.”
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