Cytonn CEO Edwin Dande has told off Britam for roping them (Cytonn) into their troubles of dwindling fortunes at the real estate business.
In a recent article, Kahawa Tungu revealed that Britam was selling off a good number of its properties worth Ksh6.5 billion, in what looks like a crumbling real estate business.
Responding to questions about the issue, Britam Director Marketing and Corporate Affairs Muthoga Ngera said, “We are not selling land, what has happened, there are some properties one or two. You remember we had this matter of Cytonn and the other guys, there were properties that were bought that we thought we needed to release the capital. It is not many, just some properties somewhere at Lukenya and a property here at Upper Hill.”
The statement did not go down well with Dande, who through a statement, said the crumbling business has nothing to do with the former employees, who left the company to form a new real estate firm.
“Please do not blame Cytonn for your troubles at Britam. You are well aware that your selling of properties has nothing to do with Cytonn or any of its employees or associates. Since leaving Britam, we have delivered Amara Ridge in Karen – it is 100% sold and occupied. This month we are delivering CySuites serviced apartments in Westlands and the Alma in Ruaka, where Phase 1 is 96% sold. You are selling properties because you lack development talent and capability, and even if you were to blame your former employees, surely by the time you were building Britam Centre in the 90’s, one of the properties you are selling, I was in high school… how can you blame us for it,” said Dande.
According to an offer letter in our possession, Britam wants to cash out Ksh6.5 billion through offsetting prime property it has held in its books for years.
Britam centre, the office park in Upper Hill is up for sale at a reserve price of Ksh2.4 billion and Olive Garden in Hurlingham is expected to fetch Ksh280 million.
The company is also selling 2.3 acres in Upper Hill for Ksh600 million per acre and Ksh11 million for each of the 172 acres in Lukenya along Mombasa Road.
Britam is also selling 25 acres in Mlolongo for a reserve price of Ksh46 million per acre and 21 acres in Ngong town for a reserve price of Ksh1 billion.
Dande left Britam in 2004 alongside his colleagues Elizabeth Nailantei Nkukuu, Patricia Njeri Wanjama and Shiv Arora, with whom they were accused of theft of over Ksh1.1 billion.
Britam said the theft was discovered after audits done by accounting firm KPMG and law firm Coulson Harney.
The four former employees claimed that no such theft had happened and wrote to Britam asking them to disclose the said reports. Britam refused to disclose the audit reports and the four former employees then filed a lawsuit in the high court in 2016 seeking to compel Britam to disclose the audits.
After three years of litigation, the judge ruled and ordered that indeed Britam must disclose the said audit reports if they are relying on them to allege theft by its former employees.
“Kindly note that Britam, as a public company, needs to comply with the Code of Conduct for Issuers of Securities to the Public. Specifically, Chapter 3.4 imposes upon you to inform, rather than misinform the general public as you have done, and also Chapter 4.2 imposes upon you to supply relevant information to stakeholders, rather than withholding as you have done,” added Dande.
“Kindly desist forthwith from blaming Cytonn for your troubles. It has been 5 years since we left, accept and move on,” he concluded.