KenolKobil Ltd. (KNOC), a Kenyan fuel retailer operating in nine African countries, gained the most in six months after a rumor the company had valued itself at nearly four times its share price in an attempted sale.
Shares in the company surged 6.8 percent to 11.75 shillings by the 3 p.m. close in Nairobi, the largest gain since Sept. 12, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. More than 2.2 million securities changed hands, 328 percent of the three-month daily average.
“We have seen it starting to recover since Friday,” Eric Musau, a research analyst at Nairobi-based Standard Investment Bank Ltd., said in a phone interview. “There have been some reports that management was asking for 42 shillings per share from Puma Energy and investors are interpreting this to mean the company is much more valuable than what it is trading at.”
The company said March 1 it had terminated acquisition talks with Puma Energy and on March 6 it announced a profit warning, plunging the shares 19 percent in the seven days to March 7.
KenolKobil began talks with Puma, the Geneva-based downstream and storage unit of Trafigura Beheer BV, in May and the company’s “key” shareholders signed an agreement to sell their majority stake. Puma said it would offer to buy 100 percent of the company after due diligence and regulatory approval.
Profit in the 12 months to December will be “much lower” than a year earlier due to high crude oil prices, currency volatility and “very high financing costs due to extremely high interest rates” continue to affect profitability, KenolKobil said on March 6.
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