KENYA – ICEA Lion Asset Management, a Kenya based fund manager, signed an agreement to acquire  100 percent stake in Stanlib Kenya, another Kenya based fund manager, for an estimated KSh1.5 billion (US$15m).

The transaction, expected to be completed early next year, will also see ICEA inherit from Stanlib the role of managing property fund Stanlib Fahari I-Reit, which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.

ICEA will earn fees of more than KSh80 million (US$0.8m) per year to oversee the property fund.

The deal gives ICEA, which is owned by the Philip Ndegwa family, an opportunity to scale up its asset management business besides the Reit management business, which it had earlier planned to start from scratch.

Stanlib is one of the largest fund managers and runs an asset pool of more than KSh100 billion (US$1bn).

ICEA Lion is acquiring Stanlib Kenya from South Africa based Liberty Holdings Ltd. They had announced in their FY’2018 Annual Report that they would be selling majority stakes in their asset-management operations in East and West Africa.

It will also include Liberty Health and Liberty Africa’s Insurance short-term insurance businesses in Malawi and Namibia, as the company pushes ahead with plans to improve profitability and win back market share by focusing on the South African market.

“The assets being acquired by ICEA include Stanlib’s investment management mandates and all rights, obligations and benefits of Stanlib in terms of, or in connection with, Stanlib’s role as promoter and Reit manager,” the property fund said in a notice.

“In the meantime, the unit holders and the public are advised to exercise due caution when dealing in the securities of the Reit until further announcements are made.”

Stanlib Kenya is a leading fund manager in East Africa, and is owned by Liberty Holdings Limited, which is listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. It manages assets worth over Kshs121 billion (US$1.2bn).

Their clients are mainly institutional and corporate investors with short-term cash management and medium- to long-term investment needs, including retirement funds, asset management and retail investors seeking to invest at regular intervals or in once-off lump sum investments.

Their retail clients comprise individual investors, high-net-worth individuals, clubs, small business associations, and community cooperatives.