National carrier Kenya Airways is in talks with 3-4 foreign investors on selling some of its stake to raise new debt and equity funds for the loss making airline. This is according to Chief Executive Officer Mbuvi Ngunze speaking to Reuters on Monday. “We are talking to about three to four parties,”
The Nairobi Listed company which had earlier mentioned it would need about Ksh70 billion, did not mention how much it planned to raise as it acts on a plan drawn up by US investment bank, PJT Partners.
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27% of the airline is owned by Air France KLM, while the Kenyan government owns a 29.8% stake. The slump in tourism has seen Kenya Airways restructure, reducing size of its fleet and cutting jobs, as the government said it is reviewing the best way forward to gain capital for the Airline.
“We have fantastic business across Africa… Africa is where things will grow and it shows you that people have an interest in the business of Kenya Airways in spite of the fact that we have had these hurdles,” said Ngunze.
According to Forward Keys, a firm that predicts future travel patterns by bookings, said air travel in Kenya was up by 14.9% in 2016, over the continent’s growth of 5.6%, which Ngunze attributed to a recovery in the tourism sector, but warned that there is still a lot to be done. “We are significantly behind where we want to be.”