How a simple looking pen earned Kenyan billionaire Chris Kirubi a cool €6.3 million

How a simple looking pen earned Kenyan billionaire Chris Kirubi a cool €6.3 million
  • On 31 December 2018, French conglomerate Société BIC bought out the businessman to have the exclusive franchise for BiC products.
  • Haco had been manufacturing and distributing the BIC brand of products for the Kenyan market and neighbouring countries for about four decades. 
  • The French multinational has revealed the amount it paid to acquire part of Mr Kirubi’s Haco Industries Kenya in a trading update.

Kenyan Billionaire businessman Chris Kirubi pocketed a cool Sh714 million (€6.3 million) from last year’s sale of his BiC brands East Africa franchise.

On 31 December 2018, French conglomerate Société BIC bought out the businessman to have the exclusive franchise for BiC products.

The French multinational has revealed the amount it paid to acquire part of Mr Kirubi’s Haco Industries Kenya in a trading update.

Haco Industries acquisition (6.3 million euros/Sh714 million),” BIC -- the company -- revealed in its results update for the year ended December.

Haco had been manufacturing and distributing the BIC brand of products for the Kenyan market and neighbouring countries for about four decades. 

On 31 December 2018, BIC announced the transfer of Haco Industries Kenya Ltd manufacturing facilities in Kenya and distribution of stationery, lighters and shavers in East Africa to BIC. This acquisition is in line with BIC’s continued growth strategy in Africa, one of the most promising markets for BIC products in the world.”

After buying out Mr Kirubi, the French multinational said it would review the staffing levels at the unit upon assuming control, adding that it will align the business with its global operations. It was not immediately clear how many employees would be affected by such a review.

Mr Kirubi’s deal with BIC means that Haco is now left to trade in the home care and hair care line of businesses whose brands include Sosoft fabric softener and Miadi shampoo.

And that’s not even all the businessman owns. Mr Kirubi has an impressive portfolio of private companies worth billions.

Haco is among several private companies owned by Mr Kirubi, who also holds a 45 per cent stake in agrochemical firm Bayer East Africa.

Besides Bayer East Africa, Mr Kirubi also has interests in the local franchise of global logistics company, DHL. The businessman also holds a controlling (30 per cent) stake in the publicly-traded Centum Investment, currently valued at Sh6.5 billion as per the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) market capitalisation.

However, Centum’s latest reported book value marks the businessman’s stake in the firm at Sh15.4 billion. Mr Kirubi, who spent more than Sh1 billion to raise his shareholding in Centum from 24.9 per cent in 2013 to 30 per cent in 2015, sees the NSE-listed firm as his preferred investment vehicle.

In December 2017, the billionaire took back full control of Haco after acquiring Johannesburg-based Tiger Brands’ then-51 per cent stake in the fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer for an undisclosed sum.

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