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Uchumi CEO Dr Julius Kipng'etich said the two parties reached a payment agreement whose details will be released on Friday/FILE

Kenya

Uchumi Taj Mall auction cancelled after payment deal

 Uchumi CEO Dr Julius Kipng'etich said the two parties reached a payment agreement whose details will be released on Friday/FILE

Uchumi CEO Dr Julius Kipng’etich said the two parties reached a payment agreement whose details will be released on Friday/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 18 – Auctioning of the Uchumi Taj Mall branch has been cancelled after the management and landlord reached a payment agreement.

The Uchumi branch was to be auctioned on Wednesday following rent arrears of at least Sh50million, which has accumulated in a period of about 10 months.

Speaking to Capital FM Business, Uchumi CEO Dr Julius Kipng’etich said the two parties reached a payment agreement whose details will be released on Friday.

“What we are saying today is that all the principals have agreed. Then on Friday, is the details on how exactly it’s going to be done and the legal framework,” Kipng’etich said.

He says the supermarket is not reopening since it was slated for closure and also due to the expected demolition of the mall for road expansion.

“No, no, no, we are not reopening that store because the building is going to be brought down by KURA (Kenya Urban Roads Authority) anyway. For now it was just agreeing on a payment plan with the landlord,” he added.

Kipng’etich says the turnaround process for Uchumi has been challenging.

Meanwhile, Uchumi Langata Hyper will be mortgaged, a move expected to give the retailer at least Sh300 million.

This will leave Uchumi with 20 branches from a total branch network of 37.

In October last year Uchumi closed its operations in Tanzania and Uganda in efforts to speed up the stabilisation of its Kenyan operations.

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In Kenya closed stores include Taj Mall, Embu, Eldoret Sugarland, Nakuru and Kisii.

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