British private equity firm Actis has sold its remaining 14.3 percent stake in Uganda’s sole power distributor, Umeme Limited, to investors including a local pension fund, allowing its shares to resume trading.
Trading in Umeme shares was halted on Nov. 7 at the Uganda Stock Exchange (USE) and Nairobi Stock Exchange (NSE) after it announced that Actis was selling its stake.
In a statement, Umeme said Actis had successfully sold the stake to institutional and retail investors, with Uganda’s sole private sector pensions fund, the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), buying a 7.5 percent stake.
The purchase boosted NSSF’s stake in Umeme to 23 percent, making it the utility’s largest shareholder.
“Actis’ holding company for Umeme, divested its remaining 14.3 percent in the Company,” Umeme said.
The utility’s healthy growth was “why credible investors are looking for an opportunity like this to invest in the company,” the statement quoted Umeme Managing Director Selestino Babungi as saying.
Umeme reported profit before tax of 161 billion Ugandan shillings ($45.38 million) last year, up from 102 billion in 2014.
Umeme acquired a renewable 25-year power distribution concession in Uganda in 2005 and listed its shares on the two bourses in 2012.
Actis was a founding shareholder but has gradually reduced its stake since the listing.