It was suspended from trading at the NSE in May 2017
Troubled logistics firm-Atlas Development and Support Services (ADSS) has been delisted from the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) .
The delisting took effect on April 25, bringing to an end a five-year stint at the Nairobi bourse.
Registered in Guernsey, UK, in 2002, Atlas was admitted to trade at the NSE in December 2014, where it was cross-listed in the London Stock Exchange (LSE)’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM) segment.
In December 2015, the firm decided to close its operations in Kenya, placing its Kenyan subsidiaries into liquidation by way of a Creditors Voluntary Liquidation after financial headwinds.
The firm had hoped the closure of the Kenyan subsidiaries, Ardan Logistics Kenya Ltd, Ardan (Medical Services) Ltd and Ardan (Civil Engineering) Ltd, would improve the group’s overall cost base.
Two years later (May 2017), it was suspended from trading at the NSE following resignation of its Kenyan nominated advisor I&M Burbidge Capital.
The Nairobi move came after the firm had been delisted at the LSE in the same month, following the resignation of its Nominated Advisor, Stifel Nicolaus Limited.
NSE chief executive officer Geoffrey Odundo had then attributed the decision to the firm’s “unresolved issues at the London Stock Exchange” where it had been suspended following the resignation of its nominated adviser.
Atlas had also failed to prepare and publish its financial statements from December 31, 2015 to date, hence failing to comply with the continuing listing obligations.
The Nairobi headquartered logistics firm also did not have a Kenyan nominated advisor, and no updates have been made by the company to the shareholders and the general public regarding their closing down process.
“Notice is hereby given on the mandatory delisting of Atlas Development and Support Services from the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) effective April 25, 2019,” NSE said in a statement on Friday.
“This follows the closing down of the company’s operations; the deregistration of the company in its country of incorporation under the Guernsey laws and failure by the company to adhere to regulatory requirements from the year 2017 when the security of the company was suspended from trading on the NSE,” the bourse added in its public notice.
The delisting has been approved by the Capital Markets Authority (CMA).
It now winds up Atlas’s existence in the Kenyan market, a blow to investors and shareholders who had hoped of its possible turnaround or listing in another stock.
The firm has had previous troubles including tax evasion claims in Ethiopia, a market it had entered through the acquisition of TEAP Glass.
The Ethiopian Revenue and Customs Authority seized USD2.4 million from the subsidiary’s account to clear the tax liability.
The Nairobi-headquartered support services and logistics company was listed on the Growth Enterprise Market Segment (GEMS) of the NSE, after it had (then) raised USD5 million through a private placement to Kenyan investors.
According to the then CEO Carl Esprey, the firm had hoped to tap the growing opportunity in the region as well as leverage on local content.
“The strong interest from Kenyan investors is recognition of the opportunity to create a world class development and support services provider in Eastern Africa,” Esprey had said during the listing.