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Minority owners forced to cede stake in Fidelity Bank

An artistic expression of the new Fidelity Bank headquarters. Fidelity Commercial Bank announced it will construct the bank’s new headquarters, at a cost of Ksh700 million, to accommodate the bank’s growth. The new headquarters, which will be built to meet the bank’s expansion needs, will be located in the Westlands Area.

Three shareholders who have been holding back the acquisition of Fidelity Commercial Bank by Mauritius based SBM Group will be forced out.

The three, Mr Aziz Javer, Mr Firoz Jessa and Ojelo Investments, hold 4.91 per cent of the total share capital. The takeover of Fidelity Bank was expected to be completed by December 31, 2016, giving SBM full mandate over the lender.

In a notice published in the Kenya gazette yesterday, SBM Africa Holdings Director Raj Dussoye said the Mauritius firm will now forcibly acquire the shares. “The outstanding shareholders are hereby notified that the offeror has commenced the process of compulsory acquiring the remaining 4.91 per cent of the entire issued share capital in FCB pursuant to the provisions of the Companies Act,” Mr Dussoye wrote.

SBM have, however, stated that the three would get the same terms offered to other shareholders as specified in a January 17 offer and a purchase agreement dated March 28 this year. A random search in the internet shows that Mr Aziz Javer is registered as an engineer but may have left the country for Canada. Ojelo investment was incorporated in 1991 but there is very little information about them.

Mr Dussoye says they have all been notified via their last known address of the takeover. The lender is said to have been sold for a paltry Sh100 to SBM Holdings for the bank that had been ranked number 31 out 41 commercial banks in terms of market share as at December 2015.

Consolidate two banks

Kenyan banks have been swept away by several mergers and acquisitions that has seen banks reduce from 43 to 40. Just recently, Ismaili leader Prince Karim Aga Khan, is moving to consolidate two local banks in which his related companies own majority stake.

The Central bank of Kenya announced that Diamond Trust Bank will acquire Habib Bank Limited (HBL) in a deal that will be concluded by June.

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