Britam of Kenya’s Biggest Holder Has Stake Put Up for Sale

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BAI Co. of Mauritius’s stake in British American Investments Co. of Kenya is being sold to help pay creditors and policyholders after the Mauritian investor was placed under conservatorship, PricewaterhouseCoopers said.

The administrators expect to raise 12 billion rupees ($341 million) from the sale of BAI Co. (Mtius) Ltd.’s assets, which include a 23.9 percent stake in Britam, Mushtaq Oosman, a special administrator at the auditing firm based in Port Louis, the Mauritius capital, said Wednesday. Shares in Britam, Kenya’s second-biggest publicly traded investment company, closed 2.4 percent lower at 20.75 shillings on Thursday, valuing the stake at about 9.6 billion shillings ($98 million).

“We have initiated the process of selling off” BAI’s assets in Kenya, Oosman said in an e-mailed response to questions. “Assets are being sold to realize the dues to banks, various creditors and policyholders as far as possible.”

Mauritian regulators in April appointed PwC to take charge of BAI after a run on Bramer Banking Corp., or BBCL, the Indian Ocean island-nation lender owned by BAI, prompted the central bank to withdraw its license. Dawood A. Rawat and Moussa I. Rawat, who are directors of the two Mauritian companies, have since resigned as directors of Britam Kenya.

Britam Kenya Chief Executive Officer Benson Wairegi didn’t respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

Britam shares have dropped 30 percent this year, underperforming the Nairobi Securities Exchange All Share Index, which has gained 0.1 percent.

‘Ponzi Scheme’

Prime Minister Anerood Jugnauth said April 3 Bramer’s banking permit was withdrawn “following strong evidence that BBCL is engaged in a Ponzi scheme which exceeds 25 billion rupees.” Britam Chairman Francis Muthaura said that month the Kenyan company’s operations were running as normal.

BAI Co. is the biggest shareholder in Britam of Kenya, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. PwC has no fixed timeline for the sale of the stake, Oosman said. “Further work is being done to maximize” the amount that is received from the sale, he said.

Britam Kenya said in April that the State Insurance Co. of Mauritius would take over the stake in BAI held by Dawood Rawat “to secure the interests of the local and international shareholders.”

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