The Capital Markets Authority (CMA) has announced that it has launched a probe into the KenolKobil takeover deal by French firm Rubis over suspected insider trading.

The french company was set to acquire KenolKobil at a valued price of Ksh35 billion.

CMA has since announced that it has instructed the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation to place a freeze on the suspected accounts to allow for the conduct of the necessary inquiries following suspicion of irregular trading of the company’s shares on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE).

“Consequently, in connection with these investigations the Authority has instructed the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation to place a freeze on the suspected accounts to allow for the conduct of the necessary inquiries,” said CMA.

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Rubis plans to expand parts of the Kenyan business, such as liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), once the deal is concluded.

“We have become specialists in LPG and bitumen for instance, the demand for these kind of products is very strong in Kenya and other countries, to address that demand we have to invest in logistics,” said Bruno Krief, Rubis chief financial officer.

If Rubis gets 90 percent of KenolKobil, it plans to invoke rules allowing it to acquire the remaining shares. If it gets 75 percent but less than 90 percent, it may take steps to delist the shares from the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

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