A bid by French Petroleum products distributor Rubis Energie SAS to acquire 100 per cent of the ordinary shares of KenolKobil has hit a major roadblock after the capital markets regulator (CMA Kenya) announced it had launched an investigation into a possible insider trading in the run-up to the issue of the takeover notice.
The regulator said on Wednesday it had spotted a potential insider trading whereby some traders stockpiled shares of Kenol Kobil based on confidential information about the deal in the days leading up to the announcement. CMA is therefore expected to file charges against the brokers for aiding with trades while in possession of privileged information, therefore influencing the market price of Kenol Kobil shares.
On Tuesday 23rd October 2018, a day before the takeover announcement, Rubis Énergie had acquired 367,793,124 ordinary shares at a market price of sh 15.30 per share.
“Consequently, in connection with these investigations the Authority has instructed the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation to place a freeze on the suspected accounts to allow for the conduct of the necessary inquiries,” the regulator announced after the close of markets.
“In conducting its review of the ongoing takeover transaction the Authority will have due regard to the maintenance of the integrity of the market and protection of investors’ interests,” reads part of the release.
Kenol Kobil Shares
Kenol Kobil on Wednesday’s trading emerged the top gainer at the NSE having gained +29.4% during the day to close at Sh 19.80.