PRECISION AIRS IPO CLEARS FINAL HURDLE
A regular source in Dar es Salaam confirmed overnight that the long awaited and often delayed and in fact obstructed IPO by Precision Air, Tanzanias leading airline company, will now finally go underway on October 07th and run for an overall period of three weeks. Tanzanias financial regulators gave the green light yesterday and the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange is now looking forward to the final preparations before opening its doors on the 07th to one of Tanzanias most exciting share offerings during which the wider public can at last buy shares in Precision Air and give it broader institutional and individual shareholdings beyond the current owners.
The share prices has been set at Tanzanian Shillings 475 per share and nearly 59 million shares are on sale, expected to raise in the region of 27 billion TShs. Current owners Mr. Michael Shirima with 51 percent and Kenya Airways with 49 percent will be reducing their present shareholding considerably to allow for the raising of funds required to finance Precision Airs current expansion programme.
Precisions IPO, as mentioned earlier, has often been delayed and cast doubts on the Tanzanian governments true commitment to privatization and the liberalization of the air transport industry. While making all the right noises in public speeches, the oversight by the Tanzanian airports authority to create a timely taxi way link to Precision Airs new hangar facility was by many seen as a deliberate affront, and halting the IPOs previous launch attempt over a frivolous and precisely timed winding up petition over an alleged outstanding of about 100.000 US Dollars gave more credence that the Tanzanian government, behind the scenes, did all they could to delay and obstruct Precision while they were pondering how to revive the basically bankrupt Air Tanzania. Only recently did news become public that the already strained treasury was made to cough up nearly 20 billion Tanzania Shillings to bail out Air Tanzania once again, pay for the overdue maintenance bills of a Bombardier Q 300 turboprop and have the airline resume operations with a single plane just around the same time Precisions IPO was finally going ahead.
Knowing how stuck in the command economy days many of Tanzanias political leaders are and how they hate anything to do with Kenya the entry of Kenya Airways into Precision some years ago was the start of the success story for the airline but also a constant source of envy and malcontent by many isolationists in Tanzania this timing cannot be just pure coincidence but is a loud announcement where the official mindset in Tanzania is still rooted. Watch this space as the IPO goes underway next month and how it progresses and concludes.