Firm to retain AccessKenya CEO after acquisition

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

The UK firm that is acquiring AccessKenya will retain Jonathan Somen as CEO for two years as the company prepares to merge its local subsidiary with the Nairobi bourse listed IT company.

Dimension Data, which is buying AccessKenya at Sh14 a share or Sh3.05 billion, plans to delist AccessKenya from the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and thereafter merge it with Internet Solutions.

Internet Solutions is fully owned by the UK firm and offers web design, web hosting and domain registration.

A source close to the transaction says that Somen, who owns 16.97 per cent of AccessKenya, will run the merged unit for two years and the UK firm will have a free hand in composing the board —which includes Titus Naikuni, the Kenya Airways CEO.

Somen confirmed that he will remain as an executive of the new entity.  “Dimension Data have made it clear they want me and my whole team to continue with the work that we have been doing,” Somen told the Business Daily.

On Monday, the board of AccessKenya asked the shareholders to accept the takeover offer after a review of the deal by Kestrel Capital — a stockbrokerage firm appointed to evaluate the deal.

The CEO together with his father Michael and brother David have agreed to the offer and will pocket nearly Sh1 billion from their combined 30.26 per cent stake.

At Sh14 a share, the offer price is Sh1 billion higher than AccessKenya’s market value of Sh2.08 billion on May 7 when it suspended trading to allow the conclusion of the deal. The Sh14 price is, however, substantially lower than the stock’s peak price of Sh35 in 2008.