Category Archives: Centum

Nairobi Mall and Supermarket Moment

A research report by Knight Frank notes that Nairobi has about 470,000 square meters of shopping center space under  development underway and is one of the five largest cities in Africa (excluding south africa) in that regard (it currently has 391,000 square meters of shop space).

Knight Frank Shop Africa Nairobi spotlight

Knight Frank Shop Africa Nairobi spotlight

Knight Frank notes that, aside from Actis (the pioneering UK investor), most of the developers and landlords of Nairobi’s shopping centres are local Kenyan property owners.

A second Buffalo Mall is  to be built in Eldoret. This comes after the Pivotal Fund acquired 50% of Buffalo Mall Naivasha.

Carrefour: This week opened their first store in East Africa. a 60,000 square foot hypermarket at the Hub in Karen, one of 57 stores that have opened there. Carrefour will be the anchor tenant and are run under franchise of Majid Al Futtaim Retail of Dubai.   EdIt – Carrefour Kenya have an app for shoppers 

(The) Game operated by Massamart. in which Walmart has a majority stake, opened at Garden City Mall as the anchor tenant. 

Khetia:  are in the midst of a Kshs 1  billion expansion in western Kenya. They plan to open up stores in Kisii, Busia and Kericho, each of which requires Kshs  200 million.

Nakumatt: Just launched their 59th branch in Kakamega – the Nakumatt Midtown Supermarket. It was remodeled after nakumatt acquired three supermarket stores in Western Kenay (Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia) from Yako Supermarkets in a Kshs 260 million investment program. They have also added new stores like  Sports Planet departmental  at the reopened Westgate mall. 

Naivas The ownership of widely admired chain is subject to an inheritance court case. 

Sarit Center: Nairobi’s first formal mall is undergoing an expansion program to add more stores.  

Society Stores: An offshoot of a Khetia family member  – Trushar Khetia, hopes to grow the store brand. He says that they had the first chance to buy out Ukwala, but it wasn’t backed by the board and the deal fell through.

Two Rivers backed by Centum and built by Avic will also house a Carrefour store at the 62,000 square meter site in Ruaka that sits on 100 acres.

Tuskys: is focusing this year on staff welfare and streamlining customer service delivery through deployment of  digital platforms for e-commerce. Shareholders are also trying to settle issues in readiness for a listing at the NSE by 2018.

Uchumi:  Is under new management and, once again, in search of a restructuring deal that involves working with suppliers, sale of assets (such as Ngong Road and Langata branches) and a share sale to a new anchor investor for about Kshs 5 billion. This has been complicated by some suppliers who sued to wind up the company, but talks are ongoing with the government, and it  appears that majority of the  suppliers will agree to convert Kshs 1.8 billion of the dent owed to them into equity at Uchumi.

Ukwala was bought by Choppies of South Africa. The deal was completed after an tax agreement deal  was reached with the Kenya Revenue Authority who were demanding back taxes from Ukwala.  Ukwala had admitted to owing the taxman Kshs 101 million, but appealed the additional Kshs 845 million that KRA was demanding. 

Finally, suppliers,  have complained about delayed payments by supermarkets retail chains. This was highlighted in letter from the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to Tuskys, Nakumatt and Naivas.

$1 = Kshs 100

March 31 Numbers

It’s that time of the year when the companies that have their year-end in March get to release their 2016 results. These include  Safaricom, Centum and Kenya Airways

  • Centum: The Two Rivers mall seems also complete, and there are the venture in banking (Sidian Bank) & fund management (GenAfrica, Nabo Capital), expansion in beverage (Carlsberg beer, Almasi – Coca Cola). They exited insurance, divested of some property, and have  other new ones to pay for (Amu Power, Vipingo estates). Are they will keen on coal energy? Plus it’s time for shareholders to get some dividends.
  • Kenya Airways: Maybe the toughest year of the company in its 39-year history. One of shrinkage after a record loss , with everything “on the table” as CEO Mbuvi Ngunze has often said. This has come to include board reshuffle, selling a Heathrow airport slot, selling/leasing off brand new aircraft  (787 Dreamliners, and 777-300’s),  and staff layoffs. What’s been the financial outcome of these moves?
  • Safaricom:  Unparalleled at the top of the corporate food chain in terms of connection with citizens (communications, security) and as a taxpayer, with no rivals except itself. Has M-Pesa peaked? What’s next?

It’s also time for banks to release their quarter one results for 2016, in an interesting  year, one not seen since the dreaded early 1990’s and mid 1980’s when political banks were in the news for the wrong reasons. Everyone is wondering, who will buy reopened  Chase Bank?

Sidian Bank is Born

Last week saw the rebranding of K-Rep bank into Sidian Bank. This followed the acquisition of acquiring a majority 66% in K-Rep bank by NSE-listed investment firm, Centum Investments (through Bakki Holdco), for about Kshs 2.3 billion, in November 2014.

As Sidian, the 32-year-old bank will take on a new direction with a focus on entrepreneurs, and with the tagline #OwnTomorrow that’s rolling out at it’s 37 branches.

Managing Director, Titus Karanja, explained that the name Sidian, was inspired by the Obsidian rock, which was one of the first commodities used in barter trade – by the Mayans in middle America.

Centum now has 16 subsidiaries.

$1 = Kshs 90 in November 2014.

Almasi Gets Juicy

A year after Centum took control of K-Rep Bank, Almasi Beverages and Genesis Kenya, they are now seeking more shares of Almasi.

In December, they were reported to have made an offer of Kshs 6 per share to minority shareholders of Almasi, a sum that they term as a 20% premium to when the company was formed in 2013. Payment will be within 10 days of the closing date f the offer to shareholders who accept and provide original share  certificates.

This came after Centum shareholders had ratified the acquisition of an additional shareholding of  3% in Almasi (for Kshs 182 million) – resulting in Almasi Beverages becoming a subsidiary in which Centum holds an aggregate of 50.95% of the issued share capital.

$1 = Kshs 102.

Chevrolet Tembea Kenya – Part II

The Chevrolet TrailBlazer that is being used to support for the Tembea Kenya Maina Kageni Road Trip Tour is a 2015 model, new vehicle, that General Motors is showcasing around the country. In line with the current Chevrolet theme of finding new roads, the Trail Blazer caravan has been to many place likes Lamu, Lukenya, Amboseli, Nyeri, Baringo, Nakuru.

Chevrolet Trailblazer in Mbuinzau

And while new highways and roads are built around the Kenya, the reality is that there are many parts of the country still unpaved and road maintenance is poor as it’s only done every few years. This means that drivers  often encounter potholes, mud, wet roads, and high bumps in Nairobi and other towns all the time, and a tough vehicle with a high clearance is ideal.

Chevrolet is a strong brand world-wide for GM which remains the USA’s largest auto maker with 18% in 2015. In Kenya, General Motors East Africa (GMEA), was started in 1975 as a joint venture between the Government of Kenya and General Motors Company, and is one that is currently 18% owned by Centum, and which is a leading exporter of new vehicles to countries in the greater East Africa region.

And while, in Kenya, it seems that every other car is a Toyota, GMEA is actually leading supplier of new vehicles into the Kenya market with about 6,700 new vehicles (33%) supplied in 2015. GMEA  assembles, markets and sells Chevrolet, Opel and Isuzu vehicles and parts in Kenya and the Eastern Africa region. In Kenya, their Isuzu brand is strong, dominating the bus, truck, and pickup market, but they don’t want to rest on their laurels – hence the introduction of the Chevrolet Trailblazer in the growing SUV category.

 The 2.8 litre diesel, automatic model Chevrolet Trailblazer used in the Tembea Kenya campaign retails for about Kshs 5.1 million ($50,000) [but can be had for much less for embassies and government offices who don’t have to pay Kenya’s hefty new vehicle taxes].

The Trail Blazer is available in 8 different colours, and has 7 seats spread over three rows. Some of the nice features it has include individual overhead lights & A/C setting for each row, side steps, leather seats, rearview view camera with parking assist (useful at Nairobi malls), anti-theft /  immobilizer system,  a touch screen infotainment system that links to the phones via bluetooth or USB,  multiple, charing ports, steering wheel controls, and two setting of four-wheels drive (4WD) that the driver can adjust by simply twisting a knob.

Chevrolet Trailblazer in Mbuinzau 2The TrailBlazers come with a 5-year service plan or over the first 90,000 kilometers which is virtually the life of a typical car owner in Kenya. Servicing is set for every 15,000 kilometers, and owners also have the comfort of a warranty and roadside assistance over the first 120,000 kilometres.

Last week, GMEA signed a deal with Kenya’s leading asset financier, NIC Bank, to enable buyers of Chevrolet and Isuzu vehicles to get up to 95%, at an interest rate if 15.5% which can be repaid over 6 years . This promotion lasts till end of March 2016 and is available at all GMEA locations across the country.x