The CEO of Kestrel Capital Mr Andre DeSimone and stock market trader Aly-Khan Satchu were in constant communication before the Kenol Kobil Ksh35 billion takeover announcement, investigations have revealed.
This was revealed by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) who confiscated the phones and laptops of the duo on January 15.
The regulator is in court seeking to prove that there was unfair market practices in the share market before a takeover deal was announced.
“The investigations by the applicant have so far established communication between the 1st respondent (Mr Simone) and the 2 respondent (Mr Satchu) during the material time and before the insider information was made public. The authority reasonably believes that the respondents are in possession of documents which are likely to contain information relevant to the investigations,” CMA lawyer Timothy Githendu in court.
According to CMA, Mr Satchu suggested to Kestrel unsolicited persons who would buy huge quantities of KenolKobil shares. This was done before the takeover announcement went public.
As a result, over 66.8 million suspect shares worth Ksh948.5 million traded between October 15 and October 23, based on leaked takeover information. In the week preceding October 15, the company traded 291,900 shares.
In total, the movers of the shares stood to gain over Ksh500 million in profits in case they transferred the shares to Rubis Energy, the French firm poised to take over KenolKobil.
CMA has hired the East African Data Handlers to try and retrieve all data from e-mails, computer hard drives and messaging systems relating to the case that could implicate Satchu further in the case.
The investigation also roped in KenolKobil CEO David Ohana, whose phones, computers and tablets were seized by CMA.
In October last year, CMA announced that it had identified “potentially irregular trading of the KenolKobil counter in the run up to Rubis Énergie’s publication of the Notice of Intention” to take over the oil marketer.
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