Umeme resumes trading tomorrow
Kampala November 15- Power distributor Umeme is slated to resume trading on the USE and the Nairobi Stock Exchange tomorrow after a two week voluntary hiatus that allowed Actis and Uganda’s National Social Security Fund to close a share transfer deal.
Umeme Media Manager Stephen Illungole says the Uganda Securities Exchange was scheduled to to lift the suspension in trading November 16, after the parties concluded a transaction in which NSSF bought an additional 7.5percent of Actis stock taking its total holding in Umeme from 15.5percent to 23percent.
The power utility applied for a voluntary trading suspension in its shares on November 4, to allow its major shareholder Umeme Holdings, a subsidiary of UK listed private equity investor Actis, conclude negotiations for a private placement of its 14.5 stake in the company without disrupting the stock’s price.
NSSF bought 7.5 percent of the stock at a discounted price of Ushs 59.4 billion making the pension fund the largest shareholder in the power distributor.
UMEME’s power distribution concession is up for review in 8 years time and Actis’ move is being seen as tactical amidst indications of policy reversals that could see the state want to take back control of the energy sector.
Irked by high electricity tariffs, Uganda is moving back to take control of core generation assets while the success of water utility National Water and Sewerage Corporation has convinced policy makers that with the appropriate level of independence, the country now has the managerial skills to run a successful parastatals.