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Corporate

Nakumatt appoints ex-Tesco executive ahead of 25pc stake sale

A Nakumatt outlet at Garden City Mall in Nairobi. The pay raise is, however, lower than the 2014 CBA that gave supermarket chain’s 4,500 unionisable workers a 12 per cent raise for two consecutive years.  PHOTO | FILE
A Nakumatt outlet at Garden City Mall in Nairobi. The pay raise is, however, lower than the 2014 CBA that gave supermarket chain’s 4,500 unionisable workers a 12 per cent raise for two consecutive years. PHOTO | FILE 

Retail chain Nakumatt has appointed a former executive of British retail giant Tesco to run its marketing activities.

The appointment comes at a crucial time for the retailer as it prepares to complete a transaction offloading a 25 per cent stake to a deep pocketed investor who is expected to pull it out of a debt crisis.

In the management shakeup that introduces three new operational positions, Nakumatt said on Thursday, it has appointed Mr Andrew Dixon - who once served as an executive director at Tesco - for the position of chief marketing officer.

“Nakumatt Holdings is happy to announce the appointment of Mr Andrew Dixon, Mr Manoj Warrier and Mr James Gakumo as the new chief marketing officer, chief information officer and chief risk officer respectively,” Nakumatt managing director Atul Shah said in a statement.

Mr Shah said that Nakumatt, Kenya's biggest retail chain with 61 stores across the region, will be seeking to tap the three executives’ vast experience in retail operations gained from their previous local and international postings.

“The new executives will be charged with the responsibility of reinvigorating the key dockets as the retailer seeks to scale new heights,” said Mr Shah.

The privately-owned retailer added the appointments are also geared at enhancing Nakumatt’s corporate governance standards in line “with the ongoing organisational restructuring demands.”

“The new appointees will join an existing team of experienced executives led by Managing Director Atul Shah and long serving regional operations and strategy director Mr Thiagarajan Ramamurthy and chief business development officer Neel Shah among others on the firm’s C-suite,” it said.

New shareholder

Analysts speculated the management changes could be tied to share sale conditions ahead of the 25 per cent stake sale to the new shareholder.

The retailer on Wednesday revealed that it was in the final stages of the deal in what insiders have said is part of a plan to retire the supermarket chain’s heavy debt load.

The retailer has set the cost of the 25 per cent stake at Sh7.7 billion, potentially valuing the entire business at about Sh30.8 billion.

The retailer is also seeking approval to sell a 51 per cent stake in its Tanzanian unit to Ascent Investment Ltd.

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