Kenya's TransCentury says confident of settling debt

by Reuters 0

Kenya’s TransCentury Ltd expects to settle its outstanding dollar debt in the near future, the investment firm said on Monday.

Shares in TransCentury, which was founded by a group of wealthy Kenyan friends in 1997, had plunged about 70 percent in the past year, raising concerns about its ability to repay the $75 million that is due next month.

TransCentury’s shares closed trading on Friday at 5.70 shillings ($0.0560) each, way below its listing by introduction price of 50 shillings a share in 2011. The drop accelerated when the firm swung into a loss in 2014.

Its former chief executive Gachao Kiuna left last month, further fuelling the worries over the future of the company, which has investments in energy, engineering and logistics, in several African nations.

A statement by the company’s board of directors published in a local daily said TransCentury was making progress in raising funds, aimed mainly at settling the dollar debt, which was taken through a Mauritius-registered subsidiary, TC Mauritius.

“An agreement to settle the TC Mauritius senior unsecured convertible bond will be secured in the very near future and, in any event, before maturity,” the board said.

Earlier this month, the Kenyan market regulator Capital Markets Authority (CMA), asked TransCentury to show it has the capacity to pay the debt when it matures.

TransCentury’s board said in the statement it would share more details on its fundraising plan, which will require shareholder and regulatory approval, at a later date. ($1 = 101.7500 Kenyan shillings).