Flower firm Karuturi goes under the gave

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Daily Nation (Kenya) | 26 January 2015
 
Flower firm Karuturi goes under the gave
 
In summary
- It has over 126 hectares of flowers under greenhouses and a further eight hectares of open air rose cultivation comprising more than 23 popular rose varieties.
- Mr Kieran Day and Mr Ian Small, the receiver managers, said part of the reason for placing the firm under was failure to settle salaries, and the slow payment to creditors, which had adversely affected it.
 
By Mwaniki Wahome
 
Naivasha-based flower farm Karuturi Ltd — the Kenyan subsidiary of the world’s biggest producer of cut roses — has been put on sale by receiver managers.
 
The firm went under in February last year.
 
An ad in the Nation yesterday invited bidders for expression of interest in acquiring the business and assets and set a deadline of February 28.
 
“The receiver and manager offers for sale the business and assets as a going concern, of Karuturi Ltd (in receivership) together with the land registered under the ownership of Rhea Holdings Ltd/ Surya Holdings Ltd/ Yeshoda Investments Ltd used for flower farming in Naivasha, Kenya,” said the advert.
 
The company is described as among the largest rose-growing farms in the world, with optimum capacity of a million stems a day.
 
It has over 126 hectares of flowers under greenhouses and a further eight hectares of open air rose cultivation comprising more than 23 popular rose varieties. It has newly installed greenhouses with upgraded facilities.
 
The firm is also described as having significant recognition in key European export markets and comprehensive contracts of sale in 2015 with customers in the main market segments.
 
It also has 2,000 workers and management and the required certification from various authorities.
 
Detailed information
 
“A detailed sales information memorandum regarding the business and assets will be made available to interested parties on terms approved by receiver and manager. Any parties interested in obtaining further information should provide expression of interest to the receiver,” said the notice.
 
Mr Kieran Day and Mr Ian Small, the receiver managers, said part of the reason for placing the firm under was failure to settle salaries, and the slow payment to creditors, which had adversely affected it.
 
The pair had hinted at possible sale of the firm to other investors.

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Business Daily | Monday, January 26  2015

CfC Bank puts Naivasha flower grower Karuturi up for sale

By George Omondi, [email protected]

IN SUMMARY
- PSJ Advisory Group Monday gave interested buyers up to the end of February to submit bids for the Naivasha-based flower firm.
- Karuturi Ltd is one of the world’s top growers of roses, exporting more than one million stems annually. It was put under receivership early last year after failing to service a Sh383 million loan borrowed from CfC Stanbic.
- A trade union for plantation workers expressed concern over employees’ salary arrears following the announcement.

A CfC Stanbic Bank-appointed receiver manager has put flower grower Karuturi Limited up for sale, putting on the line the fate of workers who are owed millions in salary arrears by the company.

PSJ Advisory Group Monday gave interested buyers up to the end of February to submit bids for the Naivasha-based flower firm.

Karuturi Ltd is one of the world’s top growers of roses, exporting more than one million stems annually. It was put under receivership early last year after failing to service a Sh383 million loan borrowed from CfC Stanbic.

“A detailed sales information memorandum regarding the business and assets will be made available to the interested parties on terms approved by receiver and manager,” PSJ Advisory said in a notice Monday.

A trade union for plantation workers expressed concern over employees’ salary arrears following the announcement.

The Kenya Plantation and Agricultural Workers Union (KPAWU) said it was yet to agree with receiver managers on the fate of pending union fees, salary arrears and unremitted National Social Security Fund contributions.

“We were surprised to see that an advertisement has been placed offering assets of Karuturi for sale yet we have not reached agreement on the fate of money owned to us as well as debts to outgrowers,” KPAWU deputy secretary general Thomas Kemboi told the Business Daily on phone.

“We thought the receivers had come in to turn the firm around and settle our debt but this is unlikely now. We are organising a meeting of all the agricultural employees association to take a firm position on this.”

Mr Kemboi, however, said the union would support a sale to new owners who promise to prioritise the workers’ plight.

The Karuturi workers had previously held several protests in a bid to force the firm’s managers – and later receiver managers – to pay up the salary arrears, to no avail.

The receiver managers list assets of the Naivasha-based firm as including more than 126 hectares of flower under greenhouse cover, eight hectares of open air rose cultivation and housing units for more than 2,000 workers.

This is the first time the receiver managers are offering assets of the cash-strapped firm for sale, after a string of lawsuits by suppliers seeking compensation for unsettled deliveries.

Apart from CfC Stanbic Bank’s loan, the Kenya Revenue Authority has also been demanding Sh962 million from the firm over alleged tax evasion through transfer pricing. All Pack Industries Limited has also been pushing for recovery of debts of undisclosed value.

 
Original source: The Daily Nation
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