We didn’t halt CMA probe, Kobil Boss says

KenolKobil boss David Ohana has fought off claims of halting a probe into suspected insider trading of the oil marketer’s shares.

This as the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) suspended trading of KenolKobil’s shares from the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) following a takeover by French firm Rubis Énergie until March 11.

“The suspension of trading will facilitate reconciliation by the offeror,” said NSE in a notice to investors.

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Rubis Energie acquired a 24.99 per cent stake from some of KenolKobil’s major shareholders in October last year after which it made a bid to acquire the remaining 75.01 per cent of the listed oil marketer.

Mr Ohana said in court papers that he has cooperated with CMA and has not sought to dispute orders issued to seize his phone and laptop, which are under investigation by the regulator.

He also said any relevant information obtained from him could be used against him, stock market trader Aly-Khan Satchu and Andre DeSimone, the chief executive of Kestrel Capital, in the ongoing probe.

“The third respondent (Mr Ohana) accepts that any information obtained by the applicant from the gadgets, voluntarily surrendered by him to the applicant, may be used by the applicant in his investigations against the third respondent on the alleged insider trading on the KenolKobil counter at the securities exchange,” said Ohana.

Ohana, Satchu and DeSimone are under investigation for suspected insider trading where some traders purchased large volumes of the oil marketer’s shares ahead of the takeover announcement.

The regulator said it had information that Satchu was in communication with DeSimone and wanted to establish whether confidential information about the impending deal was shared between them and whether that information was passed on to third parties.

An affidavit sworn by the head of enforcement at CMA, Colin Maweu, said the two were insiders and were in possession of information that the shares would be bought at Sh23 by Rubis and knew the date of the offer.

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