December 2, 2016 / 8:30 AM / 9 months ago

REFILE-Toyota Tsusho buys 9.5 percent stake in Kenyan IT firm Seven Seas

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NAIROBI, Dec 2 (Reuters) - Toyota Tsusho has bought a 9.5 percent stake in Kenyan information technology firm Seven Seas for a reported $3 million, the Kenyan firm said on Friday.

The purchase, which was carried out by Toyota Tsusho's subsidiary, CSV Africa, a venture fund it established in 2014, values the Kenyan firm at 3.2 billion shillings ($31.4 million).

Toyota Tsusho has had a presence in Africa for more than 90 years. Besides the automotive sector it is also involved in Kenya in the development of the energy sector, agricultural industrialisation as well as oil and mineral reserves.

The value of the transaction and the valuation of Seven Seas were confirmed to Reuters by Seven Seas Chief Executive Mike Macharia, who holds a 35 percent stake.

Seven Seas offers information technology hardware, software and consulting services to governments and private firms in several African nations.

Macharia said the investment by Toyota Tsusho will help it to expand in preparation for an initial public offering in 2020.

Seven Seas, which had 130 employees in 2014, had initially targeted 2017 as the year for listing.

$1 = 101.8000 Kenyan shillings Reporting by Duncan Miriri; editing by David Clarke

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