By Vincent Odhiambo | Local Real Estate Company, Optiven Ltd. has joined the Nairobi Securities Exchange’s (NSE) Ibuka incubation program.
The move seeks to fast-track companies’ development by accessing financial advisors and consultants who will improve their visibility and exposure to investors before finally listing at the NSE.
“We’re happy that joining Ibuka is opening up doors for us and for us as funders we said that the company is 20 years old and we’re saying that we are ready to go borderless and across Africa and we can only do this by accessing the equity out there,” said Optiven Chief Executive Officer George Wachiuri.
The company’s shares will be issued in three phases, with shares to its employees to done through a program called Employees Shares Ownership Plans (ESOP) during the first phase which will take between six and eight months.
“In phase two, the company will offer shares to selected private entities and companies with similar interests as of the company. The final phase, which could come after three years, will see shares offered to the general public through IPO,” said Wachiuri.
The Kenya Association of Stockbrokers and Investment Banks (KASIB) Vice President, Amish Gupta hailed Optiven for its move and challenged other players in the private sectors to join the Ibuka program.
“It is the overreliance on commercial debt that is causing havoc in our SMEs today and as a result there must be a conscious effort by our SMEs, in particular, to wake up. Use this opportunity like Optiven has shown to come to Ibuka and understand the whole concept around equity,” said Gupta.
The NSE boss Jeff Odundo said the Ibuka program has been a success with more companies showing interest in joining the program.
“I believe Ibuka has achieved its objective. It is helping validate companies prepare for the market and helping companies get visibility. Today, all these 28 companies can be seen globally, they’re doing businesses in other countries,” he said.
Optiven now joins Bluenile Rolling Mills Ltd., Naveah Capital Insurance Agency, Capital Power (K) Ltd., Tusker Mattresses Ltd. and Ceven Ltd. – PataPawa, Rentco among others in the incubation program.