Biscuit maker Britania up for sale over Sh1.3 billion debt 


Catalyst CEO Paul Kavuma. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG

Biscuit maker Britania which was placed under administration last year is up for sale. 

The company, which has been operating for more than 30 years was placed under administration last year after defaulting on loans of more than Sh1.3 billion provided by DTB and other creditors.

In a newspapers advertisement on Friday, Peter Kahi of PKF Consulting, says the business- which includes a modern high tech plant at Nairobi’s Industrial Area, factory buildings and raw materials is available for sale. 

The company manufactures biscuits, snacks and confectionary products. Mr Kahi says in the notice that offers will be considered for the business as a whole, as a going concern.

Mr Kahi was appointed as administrator of the company by DTB which is owed Sh900 million by the manufacturer.

The company started out as a small bakery and has been in operation for 34 years, during which it grew into one of Kenya's biggest local brands.

The manufacturer was at the same time facing an insolvency case filed by one of its suppliers Uzuri Foods, which is claiming Sh17.3 million.

The manufacturer admitted and promsed to clear the loans after coming up with a recovery strategy.

The company attributed its downfall to the collapse of retail giants Nakumatt and Tuskys, which went under while owing it more than Sh50 million.

It also blamed the Covid-19 pandemic, which ate away at its biggest client base - schools and hotels – which suffered extended closures to curb the disease.

Britania was among the leading biscuit brands in the country but has been hit hard by reduced demand from its main distribution system of schools, hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. Its factory ceased operations in October 2019.

Last year, Uzuri Foods limited which supplied Britania with flour filed an insolvency petition over a Sh17.3 million debt for deliveries made between March and August 2019.

Uzuri wanted the High Court to appoint Kolluri Venkata Subbaraya as the liquidator and given authority to sell the manufacturer’s assets to recover the debt.

The company started as a small bakery. It was registered as Jambo Biscuits but traded as Britania. Its founder Nitin Dawda's family later sold the company to Kenyan-owned private equity firm Catalyst Principal Partners in 2016.

The new owners later brought in Jambo Africa, which registered a new company in Kenya known as Britania Foods Ltd.