Tycoon Humphrey Kariuki says the proposed Nakumatt-Tuskys merger could disrupt the retail sector if not carefully handled by the competition watchdog.
Mr Kariuki last week wrote the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) requesting details of the proposed acquisition of a controlling stake in the troubled chain by rival Tuskys. He says creditors owed billions should be allowed to scrutinise the deal.
The businessman, who has interest in WOW Beverages, says the firm is owed nearly Sh76.76 million by Nakumatt. The retailer’s application to appoint an independent administrator is pending in court.
If High Court judge Joseph Onguto rules in favour of Nakumatt’s application to appoint Peter Kahi of audit and consultancy firm PKF as the retail chain’s administrator, creditors will lose right to attach the retailer’s property to recover their dues.
“Nakumatt can drag its troubles into Tuskys, and that will affect the entire chain or even the entire market. This is where the competition authority comes in…to ensure the market remains stable,” Mr Kariuki’s lawyer Alphonse Omakalwala said.