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corporate watch

August 16, 2018

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Abraaj-owned company signs export deal

NAIROBI: Kenyan casual dining and coffee chain Java House Africa said on Wednesday it has signed a deal to export its coffee and tea to a Chinese online retail company as part of its expansion plans.

Java House, which was opened by an American as a single Nairobi coffee shop in 1999, has 57 stores in three East African countries with the majority in Kenya.

The company, bought last year by private equity firm Abraaj, told Reuters in May that it plans to double outlet numbers in its domestic market over the next two years before expanding in East Africa and beyond.

Chief Executive Paul Smith said on Wednesday the new deal will see Java House export 10 to 15 tonnes a month of its 375 gram bags of Kenya AA Arabic coffee and Gold Label Tea to China via Green Chain, a subsidiary company owned by C.J. Smart Cargo International.—Reuters

SEC sends subpoenas to Tesla Inc.

WASHINGTON: The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has sent subpoenas to Tesla Inc regarding Elon Musk’s plans to go private and his statement that funding was “secured,” Fox Business Network reported on Wednesday.

Musk stunned investors and sent Tesla’s shares soaring 11 per cent when he tweeted last week that he was taking Tesla private and secured funding for the potential deal.

The Tesla chief provided no details of his funding until Monday, when he said in a blog on Tesla’s website that he was in discussions with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund and other potential backers but that financing was not yet nailed down.

The 47-year old billionaire’s tweet about secured funding may have violated US securities law if he misled investors.

On Monday, lawyers told Reuters that Musk’s statement led investors to believe he had the funding but may have overstated it by saying it was “secured.”

The SEC has opened an inquiry into Musk’s tweets, said one person with direct knowledge of matter. It is not yet ascertained whether this has escalated into a full-blown investigation.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2018