Curtains fall as Karuturi finally closes shop
By Michael Karanja
One of the country’s largest flower farms Karuturi limited has officially been closed, with receiver managers and liquidators moving in to wind up the farm.
This follows the lifting of a ban barring the sale of Karuturi’s assets and property to pay off its debts.
CfC Stanbic Bank placed Karuturi under receivership in February 2014 after the flower firm defaulted on repayment of its Sh400 million loan.
“We regret to inform you that the Company will cease its trading activities today Friday, May 6th, 2016 following thewinding up order. Following a Winding Up Order, a Company can only operate or carry on its business in so far as may be necessary for the beneficial winding up thereof, and with permission of the Court. As such, the closure of the operations is the inevitable consequence of the order,” said the receiver manager Muniu Thoithi.
The closure of the farm now leaves over 2400 employees facing an uncertain future.
The receiver managers have in the past said that efforts to get Karuturi back on its feet failed, leaving liquidation as the only way out. The receiver managers are however optimistic that an investor will step in to revive the farm.
Karuturi’s main shareholders Surya Holdings and Rhea Holdings have in the past fought off plans to wind up the flower farm, but appeared to give up after failing securing an offer from interested investors.
“As previously advised, closure of the farm and sale of the assets is an inevitable consequence of a winding up order. It is our hope that a new investor will be identified to purchase the Company’s assets and potentially create employment opportunities in the future,” Mr Muniu added.
Other than its debt to CfC Stanbic Bank, the Kenya Revenue Authority is also listed as a creditor claiming Sh962 million in unpaid taxes. The Industrial Credit Investment Corporation of India is also said to be claiming Sh2 billion from the flower farm.