Umeme shares suspended as stockholder considers sale

The Uganda Securities Exchange on Friday approved an application by Umeme Limited to suspend trading in the power utility’s shares until its largest stockholder sells off the stake it owns in the company.

A notice from the USE said that Umeme Holdings Limited, which owned a 14.3% stake in Umeme Limited by the end of 2015, is “contemplating a sale of its shares”in the utility. “If successfully concluded, the transaction may have an effect on the price of the Company’s shares.

“In order to facilitate the conclusion of the transaction without disrupting the price of the Company’s shares, Uganda Securities Exchange has today approved an application to voluntarily suspend the trading of the Company’s shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange,” the notice said.

The suspension will run from Monday, 7 November up to (and including) Tuesday, 15 November. The exchange said it will notify the public when the suspension is lifted and normal trading can resume.

Umeme Limited is also cross-listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

Umeme Holdings’ 14.3% stake in Umeme Limited was the largest of any single stockholder as at the end of 2015. Other top stockholders included the National Social Security Fund Uganda (14.27%), Investec Funds (10.78%) and Kimberlite Frontier Africa – Naster Fund (5.14%).

Umeme Holdings is fully owned by Actis, a UK-listed emerging markets private equity investor which until June 2014 had a majority shareholding – 60% – in Umeme Limited. It reduced its stake to the current 14.3% by selling to about 20 institutional investors, among them Investec Funds and NSSF Uganda.