Food and beverage company Kenafric Group has recalled a third of the Britania Foods Limited workers who had been put on temporary redundancy two years ago after acquiring the distressed biscuit maker in a deal estimated at Sh1 billion.
Kenafric reopened the doors to the Britania plant yesterday after an acquisition deal that has seen it team up with Indian food giant Britannia Industries—not related to the troubled Kenyan firm—and reinstated 100 of the 300 workers who had been sent home from the firm’s Industrial Area factory in 2020.
Revival of the factory, the firm says, will see it engage over 400 workers in the coming two years, surpassing the number previously employed by Britania before its woes set in.
Kenafric chief executive officer Keval Shah said the firm had spent two months after agreeing the takeover renovating the factory and acquiring the necessary machinery in readiness for the resumption of operations.
“We took over the factory two months ago. We spent some time doing renovations and getting the machines back to full operating capacity. We expect to start production within the next two days,” said Mr Shah.
Additionally, Kenafric and Britannia Industries are set to pump in up to $5 million (Sh600 million) into the new acquisition as working capital in the course operations on top of the Sh1 billion that they expended in the acquisition deal.
The first batch of products under a new brand name Britannia is expected to hit the market by the end of next week.
The revamped machinery has the capacity to manufacture 1,200 tonnes of biscuits per month, a six-fold jump from the 200 tonnes that were being produced before the closure.
Britania Foods went under after a series of protracted business woes that saw it declared insolvent. In August last year, the company was placed under administration for defaulting on loans worth more than Sh1.3 billion provided by DTB Group and other creditors.