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Tuskys pays suppliers Sh2.7bn after CAK’s intervention

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 21- Tuskys supermarket has now paid its suppliers Sh2.77 billion, to beat the deadline that was set by the Competition Authority of Kenya.

According to the Competition Authority of Kenya, the retailer presented documents showing that they had paid what it owed suppliers after it was reported that the retailer was failing to meet its debt obligations.

“Tuskys supermarket has provided documents indicating that it made payments to suppliers amounting to Sh2.77 billion in June 2020 as per Authority’s order,” reads part of the Communication Authority statement.

“Over the past 30 days, the authority has held four meetings with Tuskys to review the documentation submitted and interrogate its proposed debt settlement plan,” CAK director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki said in a statement.

The competition watchdog had previously ordered Tuskys to submit a debt repayment plan for what it owed its suppliers for a period of more than 90 days where it was expected to pay while giving priority to distressed suppliers and those supplying Fast-Moving Consumer Goods.

Additionally, Tuskys was to give CAK records of all its debts and financial statements and records, sales forecasts, among others.

The retailer has now informed CAK that it is also exploring other funding options which includes seeking a strategic investor by July 31.

“ The authority took note of those initiatives and has thereof committed that if the retailer opts to seek a strategic investor , the authority shall within 14 days and in accordance with the provisions of the Competition Act, consider and issue a determination upon submission of  a merger/acquisition application,” CAK added.

The retail chain in the last months has been operating with close to empty shelves.

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Tuskys now says it has negotiated for moratoriums and extensions of its facilities with its lenders and that it was in talks with key suppliers to ensure continuation of supplies.

CAK had earlier revealed that after analyzing the debt portfolios of 25 major retailers four of them were in debt distress, but three were working on getting back on track.

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