Nakumatt relief as court stops auctions

All Nakumatt creditors stopped from attaching the retailer’s assets to recover what they’re owed. PHOTO | FILE
All Nakumatt creditors stopped from attaching the retailer’s assets to recover what they’re owed. PHOTO | FILE 

The court has stopped all Nakumatt creditors from attaching the supermarket chain’s property to recover their dues, offering a major relief for the cash-strapped retailer.

Creditors of the retail chain have in recent months filed several suits seeking to attach Nakumatt’s property to recover amounts owed to them.

High Court Judge Joseph Onguto however yesterday stopped the creditors and ordered Nakumatt to invite within a week all those interested in appearing in the ongoing insolvency case to file their respective claims in court.

“It is hereby ordered that all creditors of the company Nakumatt Holding Ltd are prohibited from conducting any attachment, sequestration, distress and or execution against the company’s assets until further orders of the court,” ruled Justice Onguto.

The directive issued yesterday effectively put four major creditors at bay.

They include High Park Mall, Roysambu-based Thika Road Mall, Integer Limited on Uhuru Highway, which hosts Nakumatt Mega, and Highport Properties which has leased six godowns to Nakumatt.

High Park Mall is demanding Sh8.829 million in rent arrears, Thika Road Mall (Sh51 million in rent arrears), Integer (Sh23 million), and Highport Properties (Sh5 million).

Under Kenyan law any property belonging to a company or individual facing insolvency proceedings in court is protected from attachment for purposes of recovering debt.

Nakumatt has also been holding talks with some of its creditors to reach an out-of-court settlement.

Yesterday’s order has also thrown into disarray another application against Nakumatt by its employees who are fighting to be paid their dues. They want the retail chain compelled to settle their salaries.

The employees through the Kenya Union of Commercial, Food and Allied Workers are claiming that Nakumatt has delayed their salaries, failed to pay overtime work as scheduled, is not implementing the 11 per cent salary increase with effect from May 1, 2017 to July 30, 2018.

The insolvency case will be mentioned on September 18.