A property company has been allowed to proceed with the purchase of a Sh750 million contested prime parcel of land in Athi River owned by East African Portland Cement Company. #ticker:PORT
The cement manufacturing company was appealing a High Court decision, which had extended the period for it to conclude land transaction with Superior Homes Ltd — a property development firm.
Court of Appeal judges Philip Waki, Roselyne Nambuye and Patrick Kiage found that Portland was not acting in good faith in the transaction, which it later terminated.
The parties had entered agreement in 2012 where Superior was to purchase 337 acres at a price of Sh2,225,519.58 per acre, making a total purchase price of Sh750 million.
Superior then paid Sh100 million deposit but Portland failed to provide the necessary paperwork to enable the transaction to be complete.
A crisis meeting was held between the two on May 8, 2013 three days before the expiry of the agreement for purchase of the land.
It was then that it became apparent that Portland had not obtained all the documents and approvals in readiness for completion of the transaction which it said were in the process of being obtained.
Superior also failed to disclose before consent was entered, that the land in question was among the parcels of land the government had expressed an intention to acquire.
The Ndungu Land Commission Report had also recommended revocation of the title.
“We think the attitude taken by Portland says little about fair play and candour in the conduct of this transaction.
"The information was surely within their knowledge and the least they could have done was to disclose it,” said the judges.
The judges said that way, Superior would have walked into the transaction with “open eyes”.