15 May 2007

Kenya: AccessKenya IPO Oversubscribed, Trading Starts on June 4

Nairobi — Kenya's only listed ICT company, AccessKenya, has announced the successful completion of its initial public offering (IPO) with significant oversubscription of the offer.

However, the company will announce the exact level of oversubscription and details of allocations on May 24 once all applications and payments have been fully reconciled.

According to Jonathan Somen, managing director of Access Kenya Group, the company is delighted that the IPO has been fully subscribed. The company has fast-tracked the processing of applications and reconciliation with the aim of making the announcement on or before the said date.

"We are also on track to make refunds by the end of May as per our stated timetable, ensuring that investors' funds are not held for more than one month, which will be the shortest time frame of any of the recent IPOs," he said.

Last week, financial analysts attributed the slowdown in trading at the NSE to AccessKenya's IPO that had tied up most capital, among other factors.

Shares in the AccessKenya Group are expected to start trading on the NSE on June 4.

AccessKenya Group will become the first listed ICT company. The Group comprises AccessKenya, and Broadband Access (BLUE), one of Kenya's first licensed Public Data Network Operators (PDNO). The Group currently has 1,500 corporate leased lines across Kenya and employs about 150 people. It has offices in Nairobi and Mombasa and has grown on average by 75 per cent per year in the last three years.

The Group's key products include Yello, GO, Broadband Max and Broadband Max 2. Companies within the AccessKenya Group currently hold four licenses from CCK including DCNO, ISP, PDNO, and Local Loop Operator licenses.

AccessKenya launched its share offer on April 19 with a rather bullish promise to transform itself into an alternative telephone solutions company that will offer stiff competition to the two mobile service providers - Safaricom and Celtel.

The IPO was to enable the company raise about Ksh 800 million ($11.5 million), with the bulk of the capital intended to buy an information technology firm to expand its ICT-related services.

The company offered a minimum of 5,000 share valued at Ksh10 ($0.14) each.

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