USE to lift Umeme trading suspension on Wednesday

The Uganda Securities Exchange will lift the trading suspension on Umeme Limited (UMEM) this Wednesday, 16 November following the sale of the power utility’s shares by its former majority stockholder, Umeme Holdings Limited.

Umeme applied for a voluntary trading suspension on 4 November so Umeme Holdings Limited could transfer its shareholding without disrupting the price of the company’s stock. Umeme Holdings – a subsidiary of the UK-listed private equity investor Actis – sold part of its 14.3% stake to the National Social Security Fund for Shs59.4 billion, making the pension fund the largest shareholder in the utility with 23%.

Umeme Holdings has completed offloading its shares and the “trading suspension will be lifted on Wednesday, November 16th, 2016,” Umeme’s media relations manager, Stephen Ilungole, said in an email to reporters.

The suspension came into effect on 7 November and stopped trading in Umeme’s shares on the Uganda and Nairobi securities exchanges.

Prior to its exit, Actis owned 232.21 million shares equivalent to 14.3% of the issued ordinary shares of Umeme Limited. It has since sold 121.82 million of these to NSSF Uganda. Buyers of the remaining 110.39 million shares are still undisclosed, but will probably be announced on Wednesday.

Other major institutional shareholders in Umeme as of December 2015 are Investec Funds (10.78%) and Kimberlite Frontier Africa – Nastar Fund (5.14%), Kimberlite Frontier Africa Naster Fund (5.14%), SCB Mauritius Re All Gray Africa Equity (Rand) Fund (4.48%), The Africa Emerging Markets Limited (4.33%), and the International Finance Corporation (2.78%).