By Billy Rwothungeyo
Capital Subsidiary Africa Railways, a lead investor in the Kenya and Uganda railways, has purchased a 34% equity stake in ( Rift Valley Railways )RVR from Safari Rail Company Limited.
Safari Rail Company is a subsidiary of Nairobi-listed infrastructure company TransCentury Limited.
The transaction, which was concluded yesterday, brings Africa Railways’ total ownership of RVR to 85%, up from 51%.
“The citizens and business communities of Kenya and Uganda have a right to a world-class national railway that serves as an engine of national development and regional integration,” said Dr Ahmed Heikal the founding chairman of Citadel Capital after the latest acquisition.
The replacement of hundreds of kilometres of decrepit track started in 2010.
Since the start of the rehabilitation, 500 kilometres of rail that links Kenya to Tororo in Eastern Uganda were given a new lease of life, alongside the rail that marauds from Tororo to Gulu in the north, ending two decades of disuse and inefficiency.
The entire network is also managed through a state-of-the-art GPS-based control room from the company’s headquarters in Nairobi.
TransCentury first invested in RVR in December 2006, acquiring a 20% stake in Safari Rail and later increased its shareholding to 34% in May 2010.
Citadel Capital first acquired a minority stake in RVR in 2010, eventually becoming lead shareholder through Africa Railways.