This Is The Day We Have Been Waiting For: From Today, You Can Now Own Part of British American By Participating In The IPO

BY LEON

Benson Wairegi, CEO, British American Investment Company

The Swahili saying Hayawi, hayawi hatimaye huwa(It is not happening, it is not happening but now it is) aptly captures today’s significance. For after weeks of waiting, we now get a chance to buy British American Investment Kenya shares. From today, you can visit your stockbroker or investment bank and get a piece of East Africa’s most eagerly awaited stock. This is courtesy of the British American Investment Company initial public offer. The company is floating 650 million new ordinary shares in  the offer that opens today and closes on 5th August 2011.

The shares are selling at a discounted price of KSh9.

British-American Investments Company (Kenya) Limited got the nod from Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to raise KSh5.85 Billion though an IPO. It is the holding company of British-American Insurance Company (Kenya) Limited , British-American Asset Managers Limited and Britam Insurance Company (Uganda) Limited.

So, what are you buying into? Let us start with the basics.

You will be buying into a profitable company with a track record for delivering good results, has superb growth potential and embodies the values of mutual respect and accountability. Since its inception in 1965, the company has been on a growth path. Its gross profit rose to KSh2.87 billion in 2010.  Total assets increased 55% from KSh16 billion to KSh25 billion, assets under management for the asset management subsidiary rose by more than 100% to KSh17.3 billion up from KSh8.4 billion registered in the year 2009.

Total assets managed by the Group grew from KSh25.0 billion as at 31 December 2009 to KSh43.0 billion as at 31 December 2010. The company also has stakes in Equity Bank and Housing Finance, both in the growing financial sector.

It has 64,378 active accounts, 43,271 of which are conventional policies while 21,107 are unit-linked policies. This is in addition to over 6,500 asset management accounts. This client base has been growing and with insurance penetration at less than 3%, the potential for growth is enormous.

Its projected revenue for 2011 is KSh2.5 billion while its brand equity currently stands at over KSh6 billion. British American is also led by a strong team of managers and executives some of which we have featured here in this blog. They make up part of the 300 employees and 1,000 agents the company had in 2010.

At a discounted KSh9 per share, this is the most affordable share for a company of British American stature at the Nairobi Stock Exchange and even in the financial services sector. And with the local and global road shows and town hall meetings held all over the world, you can expect a good number of investors to take up the offer.

Be one of them. You have three weeks but start now.

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