Tuskys Imara to go under the hammer over an unpaid loan

Tuskys Imara

Tuskys Imara building on Tom Mboya Street, Nairobi city centre that is set to be auctioned over an undisclosed loan.

What you need to know:

  • The retailer has since 2020 being struggling to dig itself out of a financial hole.
  • The latest turn of events has exposed the retailer’s troubled financial position further.

There’s seems to be no end in sight for the troubles facing struggling supermarket chain Tuskys. This is after one of its prime properties in downtown Nairobi was listed for auctioning.

Auctioneers yesterday issued a two weeks’ notice pending the sale of Tuskys Imara, a five-storey commercial property located on the junction of Kenneth Matiba (formerly Accra) Road and Tom Mboya Street in relation to an unpaid bank loan, an official from Antique Auctions told the Nation.

He, however, did not disclose details of the bank loan. The firm said in a newspaper notice that the property that sits on 0.0942 hectares will be sold on March 2.

The property constitutes a five-storey commercial building with a lower ground floor that accommodates main shopping mall, strong room, security office, food store room, pump room, ramp to the ground floor, in addition to the upper stories.

The latest turn of events has exposed the retailer’s troubled financial position further, indicating its inability to come out of indebtedness and possibly signalling its last days in existence.

Tuskys Imara has been among the retailer’s most resilient outlets even as it closed its shops alarmingly in the last two years, with management holding onto it until the last minute.

Sued for liquidation

Coming just weeks after Tuskys closed its T-Mall operations and vacated the premises, the move also shows that the retailer has continued to operate with difficulties, despite interventions by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK), since 2020.

CAK last year reported that it had issued Prudential and Reporting Orders to Tuskys, requiring it to submit records revealing the full extent of debt owed, financial statements and records, and sales forecasts, as it handled cases of abuse of buyer power that were reported before it.

“The authority also required the retailer to submit a debt settlement plan for all debt owed to suppliers over 90 days, and commence honouring its commitments, while prioritising distressed suppliers and those supplying fast-moving consumer goods. The intervention resulted in payment to the suppliers totalling Sh2 billion,” CAK stated in its 2020/21 annual report.

Matters would later escalate and head to court as some creditors sued the retailer for liquidation.

Last December, the retailer revealed in court that it owed its unsecured creditors Sh19.6 billion, despite its asset base being only Sh6.67 billion (covering only 34 per cent of the debts owed to unsecured creditors).