Nakumatt’s court-appointed administrator Peter Obondo Kahi has taken over management of the struggling retailer, which will now be shielded from its creditors in the short term as it tries to recover.
Mr. Kahi has organized a suppliers’ meeting on Wednesday next week, aiming to document their claims and seek their support for the business.
“As I take over the management function, I am confident that the elephant (Nakumatt’s trade symbol) is regaining energy and will soon be in good health with the support of loyal shoppers, dedicated staff, committed suppliers and other partners,” Mr. Kahi said in a statement.
“At the initial suppliers’ meeting on Wednesday next week, we shall provide a platform to engage with all suppliers to reaffirm the ongoing restocking process. The restocking remains crucial to the business recovery.”
Nakumatt’s founder Atul Shah said the administration will serve to accelerate ongoing recovery efforts that have already seen the restocking of eight key branches. The replenished outlets are Mega, Prestige, Galleria, Lavington, Ukay, Ridgeways, Nakuru and Village Market, according to the retailer.
“As earlier confirmed, the directors of Nakumatt Holdings welcome the appointment of the administrator, as it’s in the best interest of this business,” Mr. Shah said in a statement. “I am confident that the entry of an administrator provides the best recovery option for all stakeholders. The administration will allow the business to accelerate ongoing recovery efforts particularly branch restocking and related efforts that are currently underway.”
Appointment of the administrator came after the company lost scores of its branches following evictions by landlords whom it owes millions of shillings. Once the country’s largest supermarket chain, Nakumatt has been replaced at those branches by its competitors including Majid Al Futtaim’s Carrefour.
Nakumatt has also attempted a tie-up with Tuskys Supermarkets to regain its footing but faces regulatory hurdles cutting short the planned partnership.