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Kenya

14 Nakumatt landlords won’t continue housing the store

The landlords, who include Galleria, Nyali, City Hall and Highridge, say they have reached the decision following a detailed consultation and a review of the proposed recovery plan/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 8 – Fourteen landlords of Nakumatt Holdings have said that they do not wish to continue having the retail store as a tenant and do not support the proposals for recovery.

The landlords, who include Galleria, Nyali, City Hall and Highridge, say they have reached the decision following a detailed consultation and a review of the proposed recovery plan.

Other landlords include Likoni, Karen Crossroads, Nakuru, Eldoret Household, Cinemax, Nanyuki, Diani, Malindi, Meru and Highport (Warehouses).

The 14 landlords further note that the Nakumatt/Tusky’s deal has fallen through with no viable alternative offered, leaving them with no other conclusion other than that Nakumatt has no hope for recovery.

Apart from the 14, two other landlords have stated that they will not be renewing the retailer’s lease, while 5 other landlords have sued Nakumatt, leaving a balance of nine stores, which may possibly continue with Nakumatt as a tenant.

“Several of us landlords developed our outlets on borrowed funds and we now stand at risk of having our properties seized by the banks following Nakumatt’s massive default,” read the statement which has been co-signed by the 14 landlords.

“Furthermore due to Nakumatt’s failure to adequately stock its shelves, footfall within our properties has fallen drastically and this has affected other tenants, leading to significant losses and a wider risk of bank default and job losses being visited on these and other third parties.”

More than 10 branches in Kenya that include Westgate, Acacia Mall, Thika Road Mall and Village Mall have already been closed. Another four in Uganda and Tanzania have also been shut down.

Trouble hit the family-owned Kenyan mattress shop that grew to become East Africa’s biggest supermarket chain last year when it was revealed that the retail store was swimming in massive debt.

In November last year, the High Court revealed that retailer owed approximately Sh30.9 billion, leaving thousands of jobs at stake.

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Tusky’s Supermarket then signed a merger deal to rescue the struggling Supermarket, although much is yet to be seen.

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