Uchumi goes after suppliers in last leg
1 weeks ago, 23:25
Uchumi Supermarket is in search of suppliers support to obtain an administration status to stop the ongoing winding up suit.
“They called us to ask if we can support them to counter the ongoing winding up case, its a cat and mouse game because they want to survive,” said a supplier engaged in the negotiations.
In September this year,Kiambu-based milk processor Githunguri Dairy Farmers Co-operative Society filed a petition to wind up Uchumi Supermarket, a move likely to seal any hopes of recovery by the struggling retailer. The milk processor has called on any creditor or contributory of Uchumi to support or oppose the making of an order on the said petition.
“Of course we have to talk to suppliers, but we cannot talk to them before providing a platform,” Uchumi CEO Mohamed Mohamed told the Star on phone.
This is the second wind up petition by one of Uchumi’s supplier in two years.
In 2016, San Giorgio Limited filed a petition to wind up the retailer for failure to pay Sh53 million for the supply of trolleys, counters, and refrigeration equipments between 2011 and 2015. In August this year, the supermarket-chain was also sued by household goods company Tropikal Brands Afrika over unpaid supplies amounting to Sh35 million.
Mohammed denied any plans to take the administration route but confirmed ongoing efforts to look at different avenues for turning around Uchumi.
“We cannot comment on the winding up petition as this is before the courts, but there is no administration,” he said.
Last month, court documents revealed that the cash strapped retailer had entered into an agreement with Jewel Complex Limited to sell its Kasarani land at Sh2.8 billion.
The retailer is banking on the sale to pay its suppliers and creditors whom it owes up to Sh3.6 billion.
Government funding of Sh1.8 billion to bail out Uchumi was approved by Cabinet, and the first portion of Sh500 million released in January 2017.The second portion of Sh700 million was received in December 2017. It is not yet clear when the remaining Sh600 million will be released.
Category: topnews news business