Seaboard Corporation, the multinational company that is planning to buy out Unga Group’s minority shareholders is under investigation by American authorities over supposed financial malpractice in numerous African countries. Prosecutors from the US are investigating Seaboard’s Pan African operations for evidence of numerous felonies which include money laundering, bribery and conducting business operations with bodies blacklisted by the US government.
In 2017 Seabord received grand jury subpoenas requesting documents relating to m,money transfers and bank accounts in DRC and other African countries. Seabord claims to have saved outside counsel and is co-operating with the investigations. If found guilty, under the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the company could pay fines while individuals may face jail time.
The company has smooth operations in Africa where it deals in production and trading of human and animal feeds. It has interest in the following African companies; Unga (Kenya), Flour Mills of Ghana Limited (Ghana), Life flour Mill Limited (Nigeria) and Paramount Mills (South African). Seaboard also owns 35% equity in the Nairobi Securities Exchange listed firms operating units.
Investigations launched on the company come at a time when it plans to privately own Unga working with the family of Philip Ndegwa which will retain it’s 50.3% stake in the miller through it’s investment vehicle Victus Limited. Seaboard’s offer of acquiring an additional 46.1% stake in Unga on top of the 2.92% it already owns has led to huge critics from minority shareholders who argue that the shares of the company are worth Sh49.2 per share instead of Sh40 per share which is the value that Seaboard proposed to purchase the shares at.
Unga’s share price on the Nairobi Securities Exchange has rallied to close at Sh43 the previous day hence making it difficult for the Multinational company to justify it’s bid.