Ksh.3.6 Bn Debt Woes Derail Uchumi Supermarkets’ Recovery Plan

Ksh.3.6 Bn Debt Woes Derail Uchumi Supermarkets' Recovery Plan

It is a race against time for Uchumi Supermarkets as it plans a slew of measures to clear its KSh 3.6 billion debt owed to suppliers, in line with the Company Voluntary Agreement (CVA).

The retailer now requires all suppliers to register their debt, accrued before March 2 this year.

“The CVA which was approved by the High Court directs that we verify all old debts through a transparent and sustainable process and we are asking all suppliers to register their debts within the next three weeks,” says Uchumi Supermarkets CEO Mohamed Mohamed.

In July, Justice Mary Kasango of the Commercial and Tax Division allowed the implementation of the CVA on condition that the Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed retailer pays all its debts within six months.

The CVA was endorsed by the creditors on March 2 saving the retailer from being liquidated.

Uchumi owes Chandaria Industries Ksh 69 million, Equatorial Nut Processors Ltd Ksh 21 million, Githunguri Dairy, Interconsumer Products Ltd, and Professional Marketing Services Ltd are owed 45, 38, and 4 million shillings respectively.

The government through the National Treasury holds a 14.67 percent stake in the firm making it the second-largest shareholder after Kingdom Bank, formerly Jamii Bora Bank which holds 14.90 percent.

In 2019, the retailer said it was banking on the franchising model to return to profitability by June 2024.

Uchumi went into insolvency on June 1, 2006.