KENYA – Axis, Mauritian fund manager has received approval from the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) to acquire Livingstone Associates, a Kenya based audit firm and an affiliate of Deloitte Kenya.

The deal whose details of transaction were not disclosed, will see Axis expand its fund services in the local market.

“The Competition Authority of Kenya excludes the proposed acquisition … for the following reasons the merger will not affect competition negatively; and the acquirer had a turnover of Sh169.96 million (US$1.68 million) for the preceding year, 2018 while the target’s was Sh63.39 million (US$628,455.93),” said CAK Director-General Wang’ombe Kariuki.

“Therefore, the combined turnover of Sh233.35 million (US$2.31 million) meets the threshold for exclusion as provided in the Merger Threshold Guidelines.”

Established in 1991, Livingstone Associates offers Corporate Secretarial, Registration and Trustee services within the East Africa region with offices in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda.

To expand its reach on the continent, Axis acquired stockbroker ApexAfrica Capital for Sh470 million (US$4.65 million) through its local unit Mauritius Kenya Investment holding.

Axis provides financial services including investment advisory, fund management, the establishment of trusts and tax shelters in Seychelles, Mauritius, and Kenya.

In aa bid to increase the services it offers in Africa, Axis appointed Johan Brink as Axis South Africa Representative Officer, a key strategic appointment to tap into new opportunities across the African continent.

This came after appointing a representative officer in Kenya, and according to the company, Africa remains a fundamental market in the region with strong growth prospects.

The recent acquisition confirms the established strategy and aspiration of AXIS to be the leading fiduciary firm in the region with a one-stop-shop solution for clients, while simultaneously promoting Mauritius as an International Financial Centre of choice.

This renewed commitment to East Africa’s largest economy happens even after the High Court of Kenya nullified the Mauritius-Kenya double tax agreement in March this year.

Kenya and Mauritius signed the DTA in 2012, which Kenya thereafter ratified in 2014, with concerns around the openness of the pact and need for public participation.