Former Nakumatt Supermarket CEO Atul Shah through his company Collogne Investments has withdrawn a case in which he was seeking to block the auction of his personal property worth Ksh2 billion over unpaid loans.
The case was withdrawn last month but kept under wraps, now opening a battle among several lenders who are eyeing the property to recover loans advanced to the fallen giant retailer Nakumatt.
The High Court in August had allowed Bank of Africa to auction Shah’s property, but the former CEO moved to the Court of Appeal to block the auction.
Bank of Africa did not oppose the withdrawal of the case, despite exposing it to another battle of fighting off other lenders eyeing the property.
“In those circumstances, and the respondents not having written to object to the request, we allow the informal application and order that the application be and is hereby marked as withdrawn with costs to the respondents,” Justices William Ouko, Asike Makhandandia and Fatuma Sichale said.
StanChart and DTB Bank could join the tussle to demand a combined Kshh4.5 billion. Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB) is also said to be eyeing the property.
Collogne Investments, which owns the property, was used as a guarantor for the multiple loans, puttin a puzzle on how the proceeds of the auction will be shared in case they agree to do a joint auction.
By the time Nakumatt closed completely in January 2020, it owed creditors over Ksh30 billion including Ksh18 billion to suppliers, Ksh4 billion to commercial paper holders and the rest to banks.
Nakumatt owed DTB Bank Ksh3.6 billion, Standard Chartered Ksh900 million, KCB Ksh1.9 billion, Bank of Africa Ksh328 million, UBA Ksh126 million and GT Bank Ksh104 million.
Nakumatt had over 60 outlets in the East African region which have been reduced to nothing.
Creditors have been identifying assets and bank accounts held by the fallen retailer and its associates in a bid to recover their lost money.