In Summary
  • The KenolKobil chief executive, David Ohana, who was part of the initial CMA investigations, was found to have had no case to answer.
  • The CMA announcement came as French energy firm Rubis Energie started making payments to KenolKobil shareholders who have accepted its buyout offer.
  • The French company will pay shareholders who have taken up the offer a total of Sh26.35 billion, while the balance of 37.2 million shares that will be acquired compulsorily will earn the holders Sh855.8 million.

The capital markets regulator has seized Sh458 million gains that insider trading suspects stood to earn from the ongoing KenolKobil takeover, as shareholders of the oil marketing firm started receiving Sh26.35 billion buyout cash.

The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) in a statement last evening said the seized cash relates to suspicious trades that were initiated through 14 accounts that were frozen in October last year when the buyout of KenolKobil by French firm Rubis Energie was announced.

“The funds surrendered to date relate to 90 percent of the quantum of suspicious trades identified… The recovered funds will be paid into the Investor Compensation Fund,” the CMA said in a statement.

“Upon review of the investigation findings and recommendations, the CMA Board has resolved to initiate enforcement proceedings against the Kestrel Capital executive director Andre DeSimone, Kestrel Capital chairman and founder, Charles Field-Marsham, and their stockbroking agent, Aly-Khan Satchu, through issuing Notices to Show Cause,” added the regulator.

The KenolKobil chief executive, David Ohana, who was part of the initial CMA investigations, was found to have had no case to answer.

Computer forensic firm, East African Data Handlers, retrieved communication from Mr Satchu’s phone showing he had prior knowledge of the deal and used the information to trade on Kenol shares ahead of market announcement.

Insider trading is deemed to have occurred where a person in possession of privileged information which is material, price sensitive and non-public information either trades in securities relying on the information, discloses the same to another person who trades based on the information or encourages someone else to trade relying on the same information for gain or to avoid a loss.

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