Consultancy firm demands share of Centum’s Sh17 billion deal

Consultancy firm demands share of Centum’s Sh17 billion deal
Consultancy firm demands share of Centum’s Sh17 billion deal

Africa-Press – Kenya. A financial consultancy that helped Centum Investment Company’s real estate subsidiary Centum Real Estate to raise Sh17 billion through the issuance of new shares wants a share of the money.

Raisin Limited has written to Centum Development Kenya Limited stating it had entered an agreement with the real estate firm on June 17, 2021 terms that Raisin would source for investors and would receive a commission of two percent of all funds raised.

Raisin’s lawyer DBM Mosota wrote to Centum on January 17 saying given the nature of the services sourced it is a fundamental term of the agreement that no party would attempt to circumvent the other in a bid to gain the benefits or considerations under the agreement.

“For any purposes including engaging in any discussions, negotiations or agreement either through itself, affiliates, subsidiaries or any person introduced to it by other parties,” read part of the letter Raisin says it sourced for investors and introduced Global Emerging Markets (GEM) to Centum.

“In blatant breach of clause seven of the agreement, your company through its sole shareholder and directors circumvented the terms of the agreement and commenced negotiations with GEM leading to the execution of an investment agreement of Sh17 billion between Global Yield LLC under GEM and Centum Real Estate Limited,” added the letter.

The letter added from the foregoing, the investment by the private equity firm emerged from the introduction by Raisin in fulfillment of their obligations under the agreement.

Centum Plc managing director James Mworia dismissed the claims terming them an extortion attempt.

“He is a stranger in this deal. We are not aware of his claims. If he is genuine let him show you our correspondences with him,” he said.

The letter added Centum and its agents sought to bypass the terms of agreement by directly engaging with the introduced investors to the exclusion of Raisin in a bid to deny them the commission.

It added Raisin is entitled to Sh340 million which is two per cent of the capital investment.

“We are under instructions to demand from you which we hereby do that within 15 days of receipt of this letter you pay our client the commission of Sh340 million for the successful introduction of GEM,” reads the demand letter in part.

Centum had on January 11 revealed the shares will be issued via a new agreement with Luxembourg-based private investment group, GEM Global Yield LLC SCS.

The investor is expected to provide Centum Real Estate with a share subscription facility of up to Sh17 billion for a 36-month term following a public listing of the shares.

“The share subscription facility will allow Centum Real Estate to draw down funds by issuing shares of common stock to GEM. Centum Real Estate will control the timing and the maximum size of such drawdowns and has no minimum drawdown obligation,” the firm said in a statement.

GEM is expected to assure the partial uptake of the shares subscription in what is seen as a move by Centum to firm up its new capital raising strategy.

“The commitment by GEM is a major vote of confidence in Centum Real Estate and its business model and this investment will go a great way in significantly scaling up the business of Centum Real Estate,” Mworia said.

Centum Real Estate is currently developing over 1,400 homes and has another 3,000 units in the pipeline.

GEM meanwhile has an asset base of $3.4 billion (Sh384.9 billion) and has operations in Paris, New York and the Bahamas from which it manages a variety of investment vehicles.

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