Bloomberg News

Deacons of Kenya Plans to List Its Shares ‘Early Next Year’

June 21, 2011

(Updates with store target in sixth paragraph.)

June 21 (Bloomberg) -- Deacons Kenya Ltd., a Kenyan clothing retailer, plans to start trading its shares on the nation’s bourse “early next year,” Chairman Peter Njoka said.

“Taking into account the auditing process and approval process, we are aiming to do it soonest,” Njoka told shareholders today in the capital, Nairobi.

The Nairobi Stock Exchange, sub-Saharan Africa’s worst performer this year, is targeting five listings this year, Chief Executive Officer Peter Mwangi said on April 1. CFC Insurance Holding Ltd., CFC Stanbic Holding Ltd.’s insurance unit, started trading on April 21, making it Kenya’s first listing in 28 months.

British American Insurance Co. and TransCentury Ltd., a Kenyan investor in infrastructure projects, are among companies that plan to trade on the exchange. Co-Operative Bank of Kenya Ltd., the country’s third-biggest lender by assets, started trading its shares in December 2008.

Deacons sold 701 million shillings ($8 million) of stock in December, short of its 800 million-shilling target, to fund an expansion in its home market and neighboring nations. The company plans to open its first store in Rwanda in October and add another one in Uganda, Chief Executive Officer Muchiri Wahome said today. Presently Deacons has stores in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, he said.

Profit climbed 36 percent to 108.5 million shillings in the year through December. The company plans to boost the number to 33 from 25 by the end of this year, Wahome said.

Deacons has distribution agreements with South African retailers including Mr Price Group Ltd., Truworths International Ltd., Woolworths Holdings Ltd., and with German sporting-goods maker Adidas AG. Its own brands include 4U2, Angelo and Life Fitness, according to the statement. The company began operations in 1958 with a distribution agreement for Marks & Spencer Group Plc in East Africa for 22 years.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net


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