KCB seizes English Point Marina over Sh5bn debt, again


English Point Marina in Mombasa. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NMG

KCB Group has seized English Point Marina for a second time after the court lifted a July ban blocking the bank from taking hold of the Mombasa luxury property over Sh5.2 billion debt.

The Court of Appeal has frozen High Court orders by Justice Dora Chepkwony that blocked the lender’s appointed receiver-manager, Kamal Anatroy Bhatt, from taking over the property without disclosing the reasons.

KCB Group first seized English Point Marina in June, sparking a court fight with the owners that saw the bank kicked out a month later.

The bank returns to the property until the appeal against the High Court ruling is heard and determined, setting the stage for a lengthy court fight and multiple suits on the property.

“We hereby give our decision granting the notice of motion dated 22nd July 2022 and issue an order staying the Ruling and Orders of the Honourable Lady Justice Dorah Chepkwony delivered on 12th July 2022, and stay any further proceedings in High Court Commercial Court, Case No. E201 of 2022, Pearl Beach Hotel Limited vs KCB Limited & Kamal Anantory Bhatt, pending the hearing and determination of the applicants’ intended appeal,” the three-judge bench of the appellate court ruled.

“We shall give the reasons for our decision on the 14th October 2022.”

English Point Marina is owned by Amin Kanji, his wife Leila, brother Alnoor, sister-in-law Nafisa and Nazir Jinnah. The luxury property is located by the harbour and consists of 96 apartments, eight penthouses and a 26-room hotel.

It is one of the few private projects granted the Vision 2030 Private Sector Flagship status.

Read: Nazir Jinnah explains link to troubled English Point Marina

Court documents filed by KCB show that Pearl Beach Hotel borrowed a total of Sh5.2 billion between 2010 to 2016 for the construction of a fully serviced 5-Star English Point Marina.

The loans were advanced in the form of a development finance facility, which would be sold to offset the debt.

The hotel was completed in 2017 and according to KCB, the developer was unable to service the loan but the lender accommodated the company on numerous occasions.

KCB  said despite numerous restructuring agreements, moratoriums and other accommodations provided to Pearl Beach Hotel, which owns the hotel, the owners continued to default on the loan.

Read:15 accounts of English Point Marina frozen

The directors on their part accuse KCB of overcharging them by more than Sh893 million on loans advanced to the firm. They say the firm has been engaging the lender to address the loan repayment.