UK takeover of Sh2bn in SportPesa blocked

UK takeover of Sh2bn in SportPesa blocked

The proposed transfer of Sh2 billion worth of assets held by one of the SportPesa companies to the UK government has been opposed by an unnamed party, signalling a growing rift in the gaming firm’s empire.

Liverpool-based SPS Sportsoft Limited, which offers gambling software and support services, on Tuesday published a notice of its dissolution which will result in surrendering all its assets to the government.

The company, which has common shareholders with its parent firm Sportpesa Global Holdings Limited (SPGHL) and Kenya’s pioneer sports betting firm Pevans East Africa Limited, now says it has received an objection to its dissolution.

“Action under Section 1000 of the Companies Act 2006 has been temporarily suspended as an objection to the striking off has been received by the Registrar,” the company said in a notice yesterday.

SPS did not name the party objecting to the dissolution and neither did it say why it is being liquidated.

The law says that a UK company can be dissolved by its creditors or if it fails to comply with its legal obligations.

Any interested party, including creditors, shareholders and employees, can object to a company’s application to be struck off the register and dissolved, making it critical to gain their support.

“You may notify any other organisation or party who may have an interest in the company’s affairs, otherwise they might later object to the application,” the UK government says of the dissolution process.

The objection filed with SPS’ registrar indicates that the company did not inform or obtain approval of all key stakeholders.

If the objection fails, the company’s assets will be surrendered to the UK government, leaving creditors to suffer losses since the State does not inherit liabilities of a dissolved firm.

The move to wind up SPS comes after its biggest client, Kenya-based Pevans, ceased operations in 2019 after the government declined to renew its operating licence citing billions of shillings in unpaid taxes.Pevans paid the Liverpool-based multinational £20.6 million (Sh3.1 billion) in the nine months ended December 2018, accounting for 96 percent of the total revenue of £21.6 million (Sh3.2 billion) in the period.SPS clients include SPGHL’s subsidiaries trading under the SportPesa brand in Tanzania and South Africa.SPS ended the period with total assets of £13.2 million (Sh2 billion) that will be surrendered to the UK government.“Property, cash and any other assets owned by a company when it is dissolved automatically pass to the Crown. This is because the law […]

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