Safaricom IPO expected this quarter

16 Jan 2008

The CEO of Kenya’s largest cellular operator, Safaricom, says the initial public offer to sell a 25% stake in the firm is not likely to occur before mid-February at the earliest, though the government is keen to go ahead with the deal sometime in the first quarter. Michael Joseph says recent unrest following the disputed general election, which led the government to postpone the share placement last month, ‘will just maybe have a little dent in terms of people’s ability to apply for shares locally’, Reuters reports. He goes on to add, though, that he still sees ‘massive interest’ in the sale: ‘This is still a great company, this is still a great Kenya,’ he said. Violence which followed the re-election of President Mwai Kibaki in late December has seen some 600 people killed and hundreds of thousands of Kenyans forced to leave their homes. The government currently holds 60% of Safaricom’s shares and the remaining shares are owned by Vodafone Kenya, which is itself majority owned by the UK’s Vodafone Group.

Kenya, Safaricom