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Regulators finally approve UMEME IPOPublish Date: Oct 12, 2012
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By Stephen Ilungole

The Capital Market Authority, the sector regulator, and the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE), the market operator, late last night finally approved the long-awaited UMEME initial public offering (IPO).

The double approvals effectively kick-start the power distributor’s capital raising initiatives on the USE and later on the Nairobi Stock Exchange, starting on Monday.

“It is (IPO) confirmed. There will be 622,378,000 shares on offer,” a source said late yesterday evening.

He explained that the shares will be equivalent to 38.6% of UMEME’s issued share capital upon listing onto the USE.

He pointed out that 20% of the shares will go to retail (individual) buyers, 20% to institutional investors, while 46% have been offered to foreign investors.

“Another 9% has been set aside for UMEME employees and directors,” the source noted.

The firm has also appointed an experienced team to support the transaction.

Stanbic Bank was handed the transaction advisor and lead receiving bank role, while African Alliance are the sponsoring broker.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is the reporting accountant, while Webber Wentzel, Masembe, Makubuya, Adriko, Karugaba & Ssekatawa Advocates (Uganda) and Anjarwalla & Khanna Advocates (Kenya) are the legal advisors.

Share registrar and data processing will be handled by Custody And Registrars Services Limited, while Hill+Knowlton Strategies are the public relations advisors.

Ogilvy and Mather Moringa were handed the media advertising and communications role.
The source could not, however, say how much a share would cost. Joseph Kitamirike, the USE chief executive, in an earlier interview clarified that the expiry of UMEME’s concession in 2025 will not affect its listing on the local bourse.

He explained that the remaining 13 years were many for the new investors to earn a return on their investment.

“It is good for UMEME to become a public company because the initial challenges it faced have reduced,” he explained, adding
“Because UMEME is the face of the electricity sector, it is now good for the public to participate because where there was darkness, there is light. For us, Umeme has led the way.”
UMEME is seeking capital to finance the development of the electricity distribution network, including projects such as prepayment metering and energy loss reduction.

Charles Chapman, the managing director, explained recently that the IPO would make UMEME stronger, more transparent and more accountable with our customers and employees as shareholders.

He pointed out that the initial public offer of a minority of its shares will diversify the ownership of UMEME and enable a reorganization of the company’s capital structure.

UMEME is 100% owned by Actis, the pan-emerging markets private equity firm, with $5b funds under management.

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