In an interesting development, it has been discovered that leading Kenyan gaming company, SportsPesa, was ‘secretly’ sold earlier this year for £100,000 (Sh14.7 million). This development has caused very serious conflicts among stakeholders, including the businessmen who co-founded the startup in 2014.
Pevans East Africa, which was the parent company of SportPesa until the sale, signed off on the deal this past June. The buyer is UK-based SportsPesa Global Ltd, which has since given Milestone Games Ltd the right to use the SportsPesa trademark in the East African country.
Business Daily Africa reported that the decision to sell SportsPesa was not unanimous from the onset. And this is the reason for the disputes that ensued. In the meantime, Pevan East Africa’s CEO, Ronald Karauri, who signed the deal on behalf of the company, now owns 54.4% stake in Milestone Games Ltd. More so, there is the concern that have been raised is that the deal undervalued SportsPesa by billions of dollars.
Do note that Pevans East Africa’s decision to sell off the SportsPesa brand followed the cancelation of the company’s operating license in July last year, due to regulatory infringements such refusal to pay taxes.
Meanwhile, even though Milestone Games Ltd was initially able to secure an approval from Kenya’s Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB) to use the SportsPesa trademark, the approval was later cancelled in October. The regulator insisted that the trademark still belongs to Pevans East Africa, and as such cannot be transferred to a third party. Legal representatives for ECLB have also accused Milestone Games Ltd of making significant changes to its business and ownership structure without seeking necessary regulatory approval.
“It has come to the attention of the board that the shareholding in Milestone Games Limited as at October 22, 2020, when its bookmakers licence was issued has since been changed in blatant breach of the aforementioned operation requirements,” the BCLB after said. This was after they discovered that Ronald Karauri and Francis Waweru Kiarie have unscrupulously acquired a combined 95.3% stake in Milestone Games Ltd.
In the meantime, the case is still in court.
In a world teeming with entrepreneurial spirits, the dream to become a multi-millionaire w…