KENYA – Anglo African Agriculture (AAA), a London Stock Exchange-listed company has announced plans to acquire the Kenyan-based privately-owned port and marine logistics group, Comarco Group (“Comarco”) in a deal valued at US$30 million (Ksh3.6 billion).

The transaction will give AAA shareholders no more than 5% stake, becoming the majority share holders in the new combined entity.

The straight equity buyout will also see AAA advance Comarco Sh600 million ($6 million) to settle existing debts and pay capital gains tax.

Comarco’s existing owners will be issued with new shares valued at 0.5 pence (Sh0.64) each in the deal.

Comarco operates a 16.45-acre private port facility in Mombasa, providing warehousing, transportation and logistics services mainly to oil and gas companies working in the Eastern Africa region.

It provides a supply base for multinational oil firms carrying out offshore drilling projects, including Apache, Anadarko and BG Group.

Its port facility will also host the 11,000 metric tonne LPG import and storage facility that is being built by international gas firm, Petredec Group, and local firm Rift Gas.

“We have further been encouraged by the recent oil and gas transactional activity in the region and the ongoing liquefied natural gas focused work in Mozambique, all of which bode well for Comarco Group’s marine logistics focused business,” said AAA in the statement.

Called Agulhas Group Africa plc., the new entity will be listed at the LSE, riding on AAA’s listed status, under the leadership of Comarco CEO Simon Phillips.

AAA said that the new entity will also look to raise Sh1.5 billion ($15 million) through an equity issue to fund working capital and growth.

Comarco was established in 1971 as Diving Contractors Limited in Mombasa and today has operations in Tanzania, Somalia, Mozambique, South Africa, Comoros, Reunion Island and Mauritius.

The group owns five subsidiaries; Consolidated Marine Contractors, Comarco Properties, Kenya Marine Contractors, Touchwood Investments and Comarco Supply Base.

In November 2018, AAA had advanced Comarco a two-year loan of Sh101 million ($1 million) to be used for debt repayment and working capital.