Retail chain Tumaini sells majority stake to Sokoni


A shopper at a Tumaini Supermarket branch. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Emerging retail chain Tumaini Self Service Limited has sold a majority stake to Sokoni Retail Kenya, marking the latest acquisition in the supermarket business.

It adds to the buyout of Ukwala Supermarkets by Choppies of Botswana in 2015.

Tumaini said its new controlling shareholder, Sokoni, has provided new capital that will be used to expand the business.

The transaction has been approved by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK).

“It is notified for general information that in exercise of the powers conferred upon the Competition Authority by section 46 (6) (a) (ii) of the Competition Act, the Competition Authority has authorised the proposed transaction as set out herein,” the regulator said in a Kenya Gazette notice.

The exact stake that Sokoni has acquired in Tumainini is not revealed but it is enough to give it control, the CAK disclosed.

“Sokoni has come on board, as a strategic investor, to assist Tumaini achieve its goal of becoming a leading retailer in Kenya,” Tumaini said without divulging the stake or value of the transaction.

“Tumaini will begin an expansion plan to meet growing demand for retail goods and services in convenient locations in Nairobi’s estates and neighbourhoods.” Tumaini is estimated to have more than six branches in Nairobi, most of them in the city’s outskirts such as Rongai and Utawala.

The transaction comes at a time when some indigenous retail chains are slimming down, weighed down by heavy debt which they previously used to expand by acquisitions and new ventures. Nakumatt and Uchumi Supermarkets #ticker:UCHM, for instance, have scaled down their operations drastically after aggressive expansion in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.