Home » Kenyan businessmen Ronald Karauri, Paul Ndung’u received $15.8 million in dividends from SportPesa over four years

Kenyan businessmen Ronald Karauri, Paul Ndung’u received $15.8 million in dividends from SportPesa over four years

by Omokolade Ajayi

Ronald Karauri and Paul Ndung’u, Kenyan businessmen and executives, received dividends totaling Ksh1.835 billion ($15.8 million) from their stakes in Pevans East Africa, the defunct holding company that pioneered betting in Kenya through the SportPesa brand.

SportPesa is a leading sports news and betting technology company with operations in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Nigeria, Italy, Ireland, and the Isle of Man.

It has grown into a global gaming company with more than 500 employees and offices in six countries since it began operations in Kenya more than six years ago, with plans for rapid expansion into new territories.

According to BusinessDaily, the Ksh1.835 billion ($15.8 million) in dividends received by Ndung’u and Kariuki from Pevans East Africa in the 4.5-year period ending June 2019 is part of a total Ksh7.6-billion ($65.2 million) cash distribution paid to its shareholders during the period under review.

Ndung’u, a reclusive business leader who is a significant shareholder and non-executive director of Life Care Medics, received Ksh1.3 billion ($11.1 million) from Pevans, while Karauri, Sport Pesa Kenya’s CEO, received Ksh535 million ($4.6 million).

Aside from these astute businessmen, other investors in Pevans East Africa who scored big are Asenath Wachera Maina, the largest Kenyan stockholder, and Guerassim Nikolov, the group CEO of SportPesa.

Pevans East Africa, SportPesa’s defunct holding company, began paying dividends in 2015 when it distributed Ksh1.57 billion ($23.46 million) to its shareholders.

It had a stellar year in 2016 when it paid a record dividend of Ksh4.3 billion ($36.9 million) to shareholders.

Its payout dropped to Ksh290.3 million ($2.5 million), Ksh876.5 million ($7.51 million), and Ksh559.9 million ($4.8 million), respectively, in 2017, 2018, and 2019, when it ceased operations after the Kenyan government clamped down on its operations due to alleged non-payment of taxes and concerns about increased gambling addiction.

Following the cancellation of its operating license, some of Pevans’ founders, including Karauri, transferred the SportPesa brand to Milestone Games Limited, which began trading in October 2020.

The strategic move prompted legal action from partners, particularly Ndung’u and Maina, who accused Karauri of an illegal takeover through Milestone Games Limited.

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