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Siblings Rivalry Escalates In Planned Tuskys Stake Sale

tuskys
Tuskys Supermarket. [Courtesy]

Court battles have been the order of the day as Tuskys shareholders, the most significant being siblings, fighting over a plan to sell shares to an external investor to save the chain retailer from collapsing.

In the recent developments, one of the significant shareholders Mr Stephen Kamau moved to court and successfully obtained orders allowing Tuskys to fast track a shareholder meeting to approve the injection of new capital

This comes a day after auctioneers raided and closed Tuskys Greenspan Mall, over rent arrears amounting to over Ksh30 million. This was the third branch belonging to the troubled retailer to be closed in a period of one month, after Kisumu and Nakuru.

The court gave a nod to Orakam Holdings, the holding company for Tuskys, to convene a meeting within 48 hours to save the retailer from collapse as auctioneers eye more branches.

Read: Tuskys Greenspan Mall Raided, Closed By Auctioneers Over Ksh30 Million Rent Arrears

“That prayer 1 is granted save that the applicant shall issue a 7 (seven) day notice of the intended meeting,” Justice Francis Tuiyott ruled.

However, on the other hand, Yusuf Mugweru, who holds 17.5 percent shares, had moved to court demanding that his siblings reveal the whereabouts of Ksh1.6 billion that was the subject to a court suit. He demanded a forensic audit of Tuskys’ accounts.

In the meeting being sought by Mr Kamau, the seven Tuskys shareholders will be required to append their signatures to allow sale of a majority stake to a private equity firm, which is yet to be disclosed.

Mr Kamau, Mr Mugweru, Sammy Gatei and George Gachwe each own a 17.5 percent stake in Tuskys, while John Kago, Mary Njoki and the estate of Mary Njeri hold a 10 percent stake each.

Read: Hotpoint Appliances Wants Tuskys Liquidated Over Piling Supplies Debt

In August, Tuskys signed  a Ksh2 billion deal with an undisclosed Mauritius based fund to inject the much needed capital to the troubled retailer.

“This funding will help alleviate our current capital constraints impacted by Covid-19 and further reposition the business for increasing stakeholder’s value,” read a statement by Tuskys chairman Bernard Kahianyu.

The supermarket chain’s troubles have been riddled with mismanagement, theft and rumours. Tuskys woes have also been attributed to internal wrangles and sibling rivalry who are also the shareholders.

It is still not clear whether the Mauritius fund involve a share sale as part of its agreement.

Tuskys became the first Supermarket chain to go under the scrutiny of CAK’s buyer power department which was formed after Nakumatt holdings went down with Ksh30 billion worth of suppliers’ debt.

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Written by Francis Muli

Senior reporter at Kahawa Tungu, Muli has a passion for human interest stories. Believes in unearthing societal rots that have been hidden from the public eye.
Follow me on Twitter @FmuliKE. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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