Billionaire Paul Ndung’u ousted as Sportpesa chairman

Monday, December 16th, 2019 00:00 |
Billionaire Paul Wanderi Ndung’u.

Billionaire Paul Wanderi Ndung’u has surrendered chairmanship of betting giant Sportpesa in what could be another sign of trouble brewing at the firm.

The recrusive tycoon scaled down his shareholding in Pevans East Africa, the company that runs the Sportpesa brand, making him the fourth largest shareholder. The firm has connections to other companies incorporated in the UK and the Isle of Man.

According to CR12 records reading by the Companies Registry as at December 10, 2019, the firm, which has tried to keep its ownership structure, which includes Bulgarians and several Kenyans, under wraps, changed shareholding.

Speaking to Business Hub Sportpesa chief executive Cap (rtd) Ronald Karauri confirmed that there were changes to the shareholding structure without giving more information.

Sportpesa, which has been at loggerheads with regulators and the State, had in response to a new 20 per cent tax on betting stakes in the country, said they will halt business operations in Kenya.

Boardroom coups

The new taxes were in addition to an existing tax on individual gamblers’ winnings and annual business taxes levied on sports betting companies.

Ndung’u is not new to boardroom coups and it will be no surprise if this development pits him in battle with his fellow shareholders in what has become an all-too familiar trademark for him over the years.

It was at Coopers Motor Corporation (CMC) Group where Ndung’u had his most high-profile board war. At the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm, the boardroom wars with other shareholders including Peter Muthoka almost crippled the company, which was eventually sold at a discount to the Al-Futtaim Group.

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