Things are thick in the Nakumatt empire. By now, everyone knows that the once giant supermarket is experiencing serious financial issues. This has even led to talk of an impending collapse.
Over the weekend, it was announced that 3 branches in Uganda were shut down by their landlords. It appears the same may not be very far fetched in Kenya after all.
The latest bad news for Nakumatt is coming from Thika super highway, particularly Thika Road Mall (TRM). The supermarket chain apparently owes the mall landlord Sh51 million in rent arrears.
TRM, through Moran Auctioneers, has now seized a number of Nakumatt’s assets in a bid to recover their money. Among the items seized are trolleys, alcohol, toasters, refrigerators and 6 motor vehicles.
According to court documents, TRM took this drastic action after negotiations to unlock the rent arrears impasse failed.
Nakumatt wants the court to stop TRM from auctioning its assets and bar them from kicking it out the premises. Court records do not indicate the default period of the rent, amounting to Sh51,896,027, but it is likely it’s over a period of several months.
Both parties have however asked the court to grant them till July 19 to negotiate a suitable settlement plan that may see the suit withdrawn.
Here’s a list of the items in the possession of TRM.
But rent is only one of Nakumatt’s problems. Suppliers and staff all want their money. It was earlier reported that June salaries will be paid in 3 installments. It is unclear how staff will take this.
Among the suppliers chasing Nakumatt for their money is African Cotton Industries Limited, the manufacturer of popular tissue paper and sanitary towel brands such as Tena and Flora.
They are seeking Sh 70 million in unpaid debt, stretching back to May last year. In a suit, Africa Cotton states that Nakumatt has issued them 3 cheques totaling Sh11 million, all of which have bounced.
Two weeks ago, it was reported that Nakumatt has made it clear to the government that they would welcome a bail out. Trade PS dismissed the possibility, but we will be observing how things unfold in coming weeks.