15 May 2023 17:11

Kernel's majority shareholder ups stake to 74.05% after buying back 36% of shares for $136 mln

MOSCOW. May 15 (Interfax) - Andrei Verevsky's Namsen Limited, which owned 38.05% of the shares or a 41.29% voting stake in Ukraine's Kernel agricultural holding, and which had planned to acquire the outstanding 61.95% in a tender offer announced on March 30, will ultimately buy just 36% of the shares, Ukrainian media reported, citing statement the company filed with the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Namsen Limited acquired 30,248,449 of a planned 52,057,219 shares, increasing its overall stake in Kernel to 62,222,460 shares or 74.05% of the total.

Including treasury shares, the stake acquired corresponds to around a 39% voting stake, giving Namsen 80.36% of the votes.

The buyback price was PLN 18.50 per share, or around $4.47/share at the current exchange rate, so the total buyout price was $136.1 million.

The tender offer lasted from March 31-May 4.

Kernel's shares have been trading on the Warsaw Stock Exchange since 2007. Verevsky previously said there was no value in Kernel shares remaining listed on the exchange and intended to launch a delisting tender offer for the remaining shareholders to sell their shares.

Kernel's Polish minority shareholders, who overall own 18,251,431 shares, or 21.7%, and have joined forces in order to protect their rights regarding the plans for the share buyback and subsequent delisting, on May 2 terminated shareholder agreement concluded on April 12.

The group comprised 15 minority shareholders, including OFE PZU with 2.03%, Uniqua OFE with 1.95%, OFE NN with 1.83%, Allianz Polska OFE, Aegon OFE with 1.15%, and OFE Pocztylion, as well as FRAM FIZ with 1.4% and Lind Value with 6.29%. The shareholders demanded a meeting in order to discuss the delisting of Kernel's shares from the WSE, with each of the parties taking decisions and actions independently regarding Kernel Holding SA following the termination of the agreement.

Kernel saw net profit decline 12.6% year-on-year to $370.31 million for the first half of the 2023 financial year from July-December 2022, with revenue dropping 41.3% to nearly $1.89 billion.

Kernel is the largest producer of vegetable oil in Ukraine and its exporter, and the company cultivates agricultural products and sells them.