Safaricom reveals CEO’s stake in telco

Safaricom has disclosed that CEO, Peter Ndegwa owns 895,500 shares in the telco, giving him the largest stake among the firm’s directors.

The disclosure through the firm’s latest annual report means that Ndegwa’s shares are currently valued at Sh37 million.

Mr Ndegwa joined Safaricom in April last year as the CEO, a position that requires the telco to disclose his ownership in the firm.

It is not clear if Ndegwa bought the shares in the financial year ended March or held the stake ahead of his CEO appointment.

The shares entitled Mr Ndegwa to Ksh1.23 million dividends going by the Ksh1.37 per ordinary shares that was announced by the telco in the year ended March 2021.

“Directors can purchase or sell shares of the Company in the open market,” Safaricom says.

However, the telco says its staff are not allowed to trade in the company’s shares while in possession of any material insider information that is not available to the public or during a closed period.

Many firms regard closed period as the time between the completion of audit of financial results and the release of the results to the public.

Safaricom says it usually communicates open and closed periods for trading in its shares to its employees and directors.

The only other director with shares in Safaricom is Rose Ogega, the chairperson of audit, risk and compliance committee, with 2,000 shares.

Safaricom share has gained a fifth of its value over the past six months to close trading at Ksh41.30, growing its shareholders wealth at the Nairobi bourse by Sh270 billion.

The telco’s net profit for the financial year ended March dropped by 6.8 per cent to Ksh68.67 billion but still declared Ksh54.89 billion dividends in line with its tradition to give shareholders 80 per cent of net earnings.

Ndegwa becomes the latest high ranking official at Safaricom to own its stake.

Founding CEO, Michael Joseph had the highest stake — 2.357 million shares — which he cut to 1.178 million in 2016.

Joseph 2019 sold all his remaining shares from the company he has been credited for moulding from a department of a former State corporation into East Africa’s most profitable firm.

Former CEO Bob Collymore who passed on in 2019 held 1.518 million shares in the telco.

Long serving Safaricom chairman Nicholas Nganga used to hold 855,100 and retired early last year holding 669,200 shares.

The now Vodafone Business chief finance officer held 310,000 shares in Safaricom where he also served as CFO up to June last year.