Category Archives: Nakumatt

Urban Inflation Index: July 2017

Comparing prices and inflation in Nairobi to four and five years ago. 

Price and inflation comparisons are made a bit difficult by the unprecedented (in recent years) shortage of certain food commodities. Back in 2008 as post-election violence rocked the country, supermarkets opening shop, receiving supplies, stocking shelves and selling fresh foodstuffs and household items were seen as one of the barometers that life was getting back to normal. But going into the August 8 elections, several supermarkets have had empty shelves, notably at Kenya’s largest chain, Nakumatt that is limping under debt, and empty shelves, with lawsuits from landlords and key suppliers and a delayed shareholder deal. Unlike Uchumi who faced a similar situation just over a year ago, Nakumatt has not shown humility in asking for a bailout from the government or relief from suppliers and partners.

On to the index

Gotten Cheaper (in four years)

Finance: Bank loans are 14.0% due to the interest capping law of 2016. Average bank rates were 17% in July 2013

Fuel: A litre of petrol is Kshs 97.1 (~$4.25/gallon) today in Nairobi. It was 109.52 per litre in July 2013 (and 117.6 five years ago).

About the Same

Staple Food: With just under two weeks to the elections, maize has been hard to find, even at the government subsidized prices of Kshs 90 per pack. In July 2013 the pack cost Kshs 104 (and it was 118 five years ago) But just how long it will stay at 90 is not clear as the 2017/18 budget drafted at a time of high maize prices and low supplies, zero-rated the importation of white maize for a period of four months. Will it go back up after this window closes?

Communications: Phone call rates flattened in 2013 even though at the time Airtel and Yu were bringing the prices down, while now Safaricom battles distant Telkom Kenya (rebranded from Orange) and Airtel, as well as Equitel from Equity Bank, with competition more on data pricing, and mobile money transfers – where M-Pesa still dominates.

Beer/Entertainment: A 200 bottle of Tusker beer is Kshs 200 at the local pub. This is the same price it was in July 2013. (And it was 180 five years ago)

Utilities: Pre-paid electricity is about Kshs 2,500 per month, which is unchanged from the last review. The calculation of pre-paid tokens remains a complicated exercise.

More Expensive

Other food item: Sugar is hard to find, more so for traditional brands like Mumias. A 2kg bag of Chemelil sugar is Kshs 290  compared to 250 in July 2013 and five years ago it was 237. Prices of other food commodities like milk and butter have also gone up.

Foreign Exchange: 1 US$ equals Kshs. 103.9 compared to 87.15 in July 2013 and 84.25 five years ago.

There has been quite some outward flow of currency ahead of the election.

Plastic Bag Ban in Kenya 2017

A visit to Nakumatt yesterday showed how the supermarket is trying to lead the proposed Kenya plastic bag ban by not packing any more shopping in plastic/polythene bags.

Neighboring Rwanda has had a plastic bag ban for a few years, and is now famed for its enforcement of the ban which has contributed to greener and cleaner image of the country. But the plastic ban was a shock, and the Government needs to champion consumer awareness before enforcement, and target food manufacturers, kiosks, fast food vendors, and the informal sector, which are all heavily dependent on the thin plastic packaging. While some have  commented that cash-strapped Nakumatt is cutting back on overheads such as free bags to shoppers, at the checkout line, Nakumatt offers customers #ThinkGreenGoBlue eco-bags which retail for 75/= large and 50/= small.

In a recent interview, Environment Secretary Judi Wakhungu who gazetted a ban on use of plastic bags, which is set to come into effect in September. She said it will be done in phases, as she spoke about the urgent need to clamp down on plastics, which has the support of most Kenyans and countered claims of job losses as a result of the ban

All you have to do is just go outside Nairobi. And how will you know you are approaching a town or a city? You will see plastic bags everywhere.

EDIT On the plastic deadline date (Aug 28) Nakumatt now packs shopping in some hybrid thing white bags that it sells for Kshs 5/=  each. 

Nakumatt Deal Time

Last week there was a surprising newspaper story that businessman and former MP Harun Mwau had sold his (7.7%) shares in Nakumatt supermarkets.

Businessman John Harun Mwau has sold his 7.7 per cent minority stake in Nakumatt Supermarkets ahead of the retail chain’s plan to take on board a new shareholder with deep pockets to pull it out of a bourgeoning debt crisis.

Late last year, when Nakumatt acquired three stores in Western Kenya they had released a statement which noted that:

Currently enjoying a less than 25% market share of the formal retail space, Nakumatt Holdings, is actively seeking to retain a bigger slice of the mid to premium segment. Through the strategy, the retailer has been working, to grow its gross revenue to over US$1billion in the medium term period while growing its network footprint across East Africa.

Nakumatt has been in the news for the last 6 or 7 years. It was embroiled in the closure of Charterhouse Bank in which it owned 10% and was widely accused of using the bank to launder money and evade taxes. Nakumatt then went ahead and published a lengthy declaration of defense explaining its’ relations with Charterhouse, tax payments (in relation to income), revenue, stores, and compliance with Kenyan law etc.

The new Nakumatt deal comes at a time of unprecedented activity in the retail sector activity both in mall development and supermarket chains.  It also coincides with reports of cash flow issues at Nakumatt, seen in slow payments to suppliers, as have had other supermarket chains, including Uchumi earlier this year.

It is expected that exit of Mwau will lead to another deal at Nakumatt that will bring on board new shareholders, both local or foreign.

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

NSE Moment: Buyouts, Vultures, Divestments

A look at recent deals at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) and other privatization and equity bids since the last update. 
Divestments

Essar released a bombshell from India that they would be abandoning their investment in the old Kenya Pipeline Refineries and sell their stake back to the Kenya Government for $5 million.
At the same time a Receiver Manager put up (the closed) Pan African Paper Mills up for sale, but that is likely to be complicated by links the company had with vulture funds who purchased Panpaper’s debts in the international secondary debt market.
These faceless entities — basically different mutations of one group (going by the names like Noon Day Asset Management Asia and Farallon Capital Institutional Partners) — and 11 such firms  own 37% of the company’s debt.
The Essar fallout prompted Parliament  to also look into the mystery of Orange Kenya which keeps asking for more government support even as the government loses equity in the company.
Since then, the government announced that a new office will advise the government on  state investments: Attorney-General Githu Muigai said the Government Transaction Advisory Services Office will guide state deals with the aim of sealing opportunities where the latter has been losing its shareholding in parastatals without monetary gain.
  
EDIT: Another divestment is Kenya Wine Agencies Limited (KWAL) finally exiting Uchumi after disposing off all its shares. It had 18% in 2004 and 4% in 2012. – via @NSEKenya 

Done Deals

Recent M&A deals approved by the Kenya Competition Authority include:

Agri-Business:  The  acquisition of Juhudi Kilimo (turnover of Kshs 30 million) by Soros Economic Development Fund.

Aviation: The acquisition of Lady Lori Kenya by Ian Mbuthia Mimano, Adi Vinner and Peter Nthiga Njagi.

Education: The  purchase of 60% of Safer World Investments by School Operators Limited (owners of Peponi School) (The two will have a combined turnover of Kshs 672 million or ~$8 million)

Finance & Banking: The acquisition of Francis Thuo & Partners by Equity Investment Bank.
Food: The acquisition of 66% of Coca-Cola Juices Kenya by the Coca-Cola Export Corporation.
The  acquisition of Lonrho PLC by FS Africa  (as part of a $280 million deal in South Africa).
The acquisition of Ma Cuisine by Harper Holdings.
Health: The acquisition of Jampharm Chemist by Viva Afya (the two have a combined turnover of Kshs. 19.5 million).
  
The acquisition of Ascribe Group (which has a turnover of Kshs 70 million) by Emis Group.
Deals Bubbling
Brookside Dairies have taken over Buzeki, the makers of Molo Milk, in a Kshs 1.1 billion ($13 million) deal that increases Brookside’s share of the dairy market to 44%. 

EDIT GAZETTE NOTICE No.  15068 – THE TRANSFER OF BUSINESSES ACT


NOTICE is given that the furniture, fittings, fixtures and the assets and the stock being the business of manufacturing and selling of milk and milk products owned by Buzeki Dairy Limited (the “Transferor”) on the premises situated at Ganjoni, Mombasa have been sold and transferred by the Transferor to Brookside Dairy Limited who will carry on the said business of manufacturing and selling of manufacture of milk and milk products at the premises of Brookside Dairy Limited under the name and style of Brookside Dairy Limited (the “Transferee”) with effect from 1st November, 2013 (the “Completion Date”).


The address of the Transferor is Post Office Box Number P. O. Box 85532-80100, Mombasa, Kenya.
The address of the Transferee is Post Office Box Number P.O. Box 236–00232 Ruiru, Kenya.

The Transferee is not assuming nor does it intend to assume any creditors or debtors of the Transferor incurred in connection with the purchase and business of the assets of the Transferor up to and including the Completion Date and the same shall be paid and discharged by the Transferor and likewise all debts and liabilities owing and due to the Transferor up to and including the Completion Date shall be received by the Transferor.

Dated the 5th November, 2013.

KIPKENDA & COMPANY ADVOCATES,

Advocates for the Transferor.

COULSON HARNEY ADVOCATES

Centum shareholders approved new investments in Liberty Beverages, Mvuke Power, Two Rivers Lifestyle Centre, Centum Share Services, Centum Asset Managers (who are buying Genesis Kenya)  and the acquisition of 79% of Kilele holdings.

Africa Media Venture (AMVF)  a Dutch-based venture capital firm has raised its stake in a Kenyan restaurant guide website, EatOut, from 25% to 32% for  Kshs17 million ($200,000) in a transaction that values the online portal at Kshs. 220 million.  
Lonrho is selling it’s entire stake (11%) in African airline Fastjet. 

Crystal Ventures (owned by the Rwanda Patriotic Front) plan to sell their 20% stake in MTN Rwanda, in an IPO which will make MTN Rwanda the third company listed on the Rwanda Stock Exchange after Bralirwa and Bank of Kigali.
Sameer Investments is buying out 41 million shares that Bridgestone owns in Sameer Africa – after which Sameer will own 159 million shares equivalent to 72% of the company.
Across the border, Tanzania’s Precision Air is looking for a government investment, just a year after an IPO which raised $7 million and reduced the shareholding of Kenya Airways from 49% to 35%

Unga Group will acquire Ennsvalley Bakery for Kshs 125M ($1.5 million) and also dispose of shares in Bullpak.

EDIT: Kestrel Capital has arranged a $1.2 million private placementof convertible debentures in Stockport Exploration to local Kenyan qualified investors. Stockport is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and has mining interests in Nyanza Kenya where they are exploring along a prolific gold-hosting greenstone belt. Zeph Mbugua, the Chairman of TransCentury, became a director of Stockport in February this year. 

EDIT:  Swedfund, the Swedish state’s venture capital company, and The Africa Health fund through The Abraaj Group, a leading investor operating in global growth markets,  made a $6.5 million investment in The Nairobi Women’s Hospital, a leading private health care provider for women and their families (men and children) in East Africa.
Shareholder Restructurings

Businessman Christopher Kirubi is acquiring an additional 32 million shares in Centum Investments (for ~$8.6 million) which will raise the stake he controls to about 30%. and has received  an exemption from complying with the NSE requirement to make a take-over offer.

After listing at the NSE, I&M shareholders have done a swop to bring the company’s investors numbers past the 1,000 shareholder mark.
  
The WPP Group (through Cavendish) is increasing its shareholding in Scangroup from 33% to 50%.  WPP is the largest  advertising group in the world is strengthen its control of Kenya and the East African market ahead of the merger of the Omnicom the No 2 firm, Omnicom (owners of TBWA) and No 3 – Publicis (of France) advertising firms – which when combined will be larger than WPP.
De-Listing’s – Companies leaving the NSE 
Access Kenya Group after their buyout by Dimension Data was approved by the Government

CMC  at the conclusion of a  buyout offer from Dubai’s Al-Futtaim Group  who have offering Kshs 13  a share, or about $90m. 

The Dubai-based conglomerate, which holds lucrative distribution rights for Toyota and Honda in its home market, will help the struggling Nairobi-based automotive group expand its brands beyond its existing stable, which includes Volkswagen, Ford, Mazda and Suzuki.

R.E.A. Trading, which owns 56%  of Rea Vipingo Plantations has offered to buy out all other shareholders at a prices of Kshs 40 per share, representing a 43% premium. The shares that have since been suspended from trading and will be delisted from the NSE if the deal succeeds.
Stalled Deals
There was a Financial Times (FT)  article on queues forming to buy up East African retailers but deal opportunities at Nakumatt and Naivas have been hampered by some shareholders challenges of family and reputation.