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SportPesa sets sights on Nairobi Securities Exchange in 2019


ONLINE betting company SportPesa intends to list on the Nairobi Securities Exchange by the first quarter of 2019, according to local reports.

The company has appointed Nairobi-based Kestrel Capital East Africa as transaction adviser for the IPO, but is yet to confirm the move publicly.

SportPesa, which operates in Africa and the UK, generates an annual revenue of 100 billion shillings ($1 billion), and if the IPO listing were to go as expected, would become one of the 10 biggest companies on the exchange.

In August 2016, clothing retailer Deacons East Africa Plc began trading on Nairobi Securities Exchange, and SportPesa would be the first since then.

According to the Capital Markets Authority statistical bulletin, 21 companies have listed in the stock since 2006. Out of the full number, 13 companies including the State-owned power producer Kenya Electricity Generating Co, are currently trading below their reference price. The remaining seven according to Bloomberg are also trading below two shilling.

“It’s one of the few oasis’s right now in what has become quite a desert when you think about the Nairobi Securities Exchange,” Chief executive officer at Nairobi-based Rich Management Aly-Khan Satchu said.

“People had dumped the NSE and ran as far away as they could.

“The last time investors came to the market was during the Safaricom PLC and KenGen initial public offerings.

“The NSE needs something people can get into and make a profit from.”

The director of Kestrel Executive Andre DeSimone has declined to comment on the issue.

SportPesa issued a statement declaring all would be revealed when the time was right.

“SportPesa is a privately-owned company and is constantly exploring opportunities that will create value for our stakeholders,” it read.

“As and when appropriate, we will communicate with each of our stakeholders.”

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