Britam to buy Equity Bank’s stake in housing finance

By O’brien Kimani

British American Insurance Company has written to the Capital Market Authority seeking approval to acquire Equity Bank’s stake in Housing Finance.

Britam says that it has reached an agreement with Equity bank to acquire its 25 percent shareholding in the listed mortgage financier.

Britam which is 22 percent owned by Equity Bank through Equity Holdings Limited says it will buy the 24.7 percent shares in Housing Finance at 10 percent above the trading margins in the last three months.

The company which is 22 percent owned by Equity bank through its investment vehicle Equity holdings limited says that if the deal is approved by the market regulator it will increase her shareholding in the mortgage lender to slightly above 46 percent.

Britam is currently selling a 6 billion shillings bond to help finance an expansion that will include the acquisition of stakes in companies, investment in property development and increasing the capital of units outside Kenya.

It is recently acquired a controlling stake in Real Insurance company which is a regional mid-level under-writer.

The acquisition was preceded by a 25 per cent stake in Acorn, a real estate development and property management group.

The statement further said that Britam will buy the 24.7 percent shares in Housing Finance at 10 percent above the trading margins in the last three months.

On Monday, Housing Finance shares closed the trading day at the Nairobi Securities Exchange at 42.75 shillings. The move is interpreted by many as an attempt by Britam to have a firm grip on Housing Finance which is the largest mortgage financier in the region.

Both Housing Finance and Equity Bank have issued caution to investors trading in their shares due to the deal.