January 29, 2003, 07:17 AM
Kenya Airways to buy 49% stake in Precision Air
Kenya Airways (KA) is to buy a 49% stake in Precision Air, which operates domestic services in Tanzania. Last year the Kenyan airline sought to buy a 75% stake in Air Tanzania, which was eventually taken over by South African Airways. A Tanzanian businessman, Michael Shirima, currently holds two-thirds of the shares in Precision Air. A minority shareholder, the Tanzania Venture Capital Fund, will sell its 33% holding to KA.
The Kenyan airline's chief executive, Brian Presbury, comments that the acquisition forms part of a move to list on the Dar es Salaam stock exchange. A further attraction, according to KA, is that Precision Air has "the most comprehensive domestic route network in Tanzania, and has witnessed substantial growth in the past five years, with annual turnover growth averaging 33%." From its base in Arusha, Precision operates regular services linking major urban centres including Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Zanzibar, Tabora, Kigoma, Shinyanga, Bukoba, Mtwara and Mafia.