Gov’t could allow regional participation in Bralirwa IPO

As the first ever domestic Initial Public Offering (IPO) hits its final stages, the Government of Rwanda is considering allowing East African community investors’ to buy into Bralirwa.

As the first ever domestic Initial Public Offering (IPO) hits its final stages, the Government of Rwanda is considering allowing East African community investors’ to buy into Bralirwa.
In its privatisation drive, government is in the process of selling 25 percent of its stake in Rwanda’s largest beer and soft drink manufacturer through public offering.

Vincent Munyeshyaka, the Chairman of the Capital Market Privatisation Committee (CMPC), the body that oversees and coordinates the process of divesture through the capital markets on behalf of government told Business Times that the current capital market policy allows regional investors to buy into Rwandan companies.

“If we receive many subscribers from the region, we shall limit them through share allotment where more shares will be allocated to the Rwandan investors,” Munyeshyaka said.

However, he said the decision to allow regional and foreign participation into Bralirwa IPO will depend on the recommendations from the lead transaction advisor.

Government is the process of hiring a lead sponsoring stockbroker, co-sponsoring broker, legal advisor, public relations firm, receiving bank, share registrar and a reporting accountant for the much-awaited IPO.

Government owns 30 percent in Bralirwa and will sell the 5 percent to Heineken Group in order to increase the Dutch company’s controlling stake in the business. Heineken own 70 percent shares in Bralirwa.  

Officials have not yet established the share price to the public as they wait for evaluation reports on the market value, company value as well as the share value.

However, market analysts say that government is likely to offer its shares at a discount in order allow high public participation of uninformed local investors as well as boosting the nascent stock exchange.

It is also expected that Heineken will acquire the 5 percent at a book value. The book value of a share or stock is what a shareholder would get per share if all the assets of the company are sold off, all the debts paid off, and the remaining cash distributed among all the shareholders.

Bralirwa is the first in a series of public sector companies that have been lined up for disinvestment by the government.

Munyeshyaka says that other companies that have sound balance sheets like Cimirwa, Sonarwa and MTN Rwanda will follow.

Ends

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