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IFC to lend Thika-based steel company Blue Nile Sh862m

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IFC to lend Thika-based steel company Blue Nile Sh862m. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The loan is part of Blue Nile’s efforts to raise $14.1 million (Sh1.5 billion) to restructure its operations besides funding the construction of a galvanised wire plant.
  • The steel rolling division (BNRML) is a sister company of Blue Nile Wire Products Limited (manufacturer of barbed wires) and the two companies are ultimately owned and managed by Blue Nile Group.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) is set to lend $8 million (Sh862 million) to Thika-based Blue Nile Rolling Mills Limited, which manufactures the Kifaru brand of steel products.

The loan is part of Blue Nile’s efforts to raise $14.1 million (Sh1.5 billion) to restructure its operations besides funding the construction of a galvanised wire plant.

The steel rolling division (BNRML) is a sister company of Blue Nile Wire Products Limited (manufacturer of barbed wires) and the two companies are ultimately owned and managed by Blue Nile Group.

“The group is looking to raise $14.1 million (Sh1.5 billion) to fund a backward integration programme aimed at setting up 26,580 tonnes per annum and Kenya’s first galvanisation wire manufacturing plant in Nairobi, Kenya,” says IFC in its investment disclosures.

“The group is therefore seeking an $8 million (Sh862 million) IFC loan to Blue Nile Rolling Mills Limited. A new operations division will be created for galvanisation wire manufacturing plant.”

IFC added that the construction of the galvanised wire plant has since been completed and the factory has started production. Blue Nile launched operations in 2006 by acquiring a steel wire product manufacturing facility in Kikuyu.

It currently produces its steel and wire products at a factory in Thika, Kiambu County. The plant has a capacity to produce 100,000 metric tonnes of steel products and 15,700 metric tonnes of wire products.

“In 2016, the company began exporting its products to Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“Currently, the BNRML and BNWPL are run as independent companies. However, they would be merged and consolidated going forward,” said the IFC.

Blue Nile’s competitors include Tononoka Group, Apex Steel, Devki Steel Mills, Abyssinia Group and Tarmal Steel.