Home » Kenyan multimillionaire Baloobhai Patel boosts stake in Williamson Tea

Kenyan multimillionaire Baloobhai Patel boosts stake in Williamson Tea

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Baloobhai Patel

Kenyan millionaire investor Baloobhai Patel has acquired an additional 257,500 shares in Williamson Tea, valued at Sh60 million ($428,000), during the fiscal year ending in March. This transaction has elevated Patel to the company’s second-largest shareholder position.

As indicated in the tea grower’s latest annual report, Patel’s total holdings now amount to 758,505 shares, with a market value of Sh179 million ($1.26 million). This represents an increase from the previous year’s ownership of 501,005 shares.

With the recent purchases, Patel’s stake in Williamson Tea stands at 4.33 percent, ranking second behind Ngong Tea Holdings Limited, which holds a controlling stake of 51.46 percent. In the previous year, Patel held a 2.86-percent stake, placing him fourth on the ownership list of the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed company.

As a result of the additional shares and the company’s increased dividend, Patel is expected to receive Sh22.7 million ($160,000) in dividends from Williamson Tea this year. The tea grower declared a dividend of Sh30 ($0.21) per share for the review period, up from Sh20 ($0.14) the previous year.

The dividend hike contributed to Williamson Tea’s share price surge, reaching a 52-week high of Sh250 ($1.76) on July 6. On Friday, the share price closed at Sh236.

The company reported a 4.5 percent rise in profit to Sh564.3 million ($3.98 million), attributed to higher tea prices. Tea prices per kilogram increased from Sh216.8 to Sh257.1 ($1.81) during the review period. However, tea production declined by 11 percent, from 16.7 million kilograms to 15.1 million kilograms, while volumes sold decreased from 16.2 million to 16 million kilograms.

Patel is one of the most diverse investors on the Nairobi Stock Exchange. Apart from Williamson Tea, his holdings include stakes in Co-operative Bank, Absa, Bamburi Cement, Carbacid and financial services provider Sanlam Kenya. The value of his holdings on the NSE now exceeds $24 million.

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