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Receiver managers differ over sale of troubled Karuturi

Wednesday January 28 2015

A greenhouse belonging to Karuturi Limited in Naivasha. FILE PHOTO | MACHARIA MWANGI

A greenhouse belonging to Karuturi Limited in Naivasha. FILE PHOTO | MACHARIA MWANGI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

NATION CORRESPONDENT
By NATION CORRESPONDENT
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A dispute is brewing between the receiver managers in India and those in Kenya over the sale of flower farm Karuturi Limited.

Receiver managers in Kenya, Mr Kieran Day and Mr Ian Small, have disowned an advertisement in Daily Nation on Monday that invited bidders for expression of interest to acquire the debt-saddled flower farm by February 28.

They said the advertisement was placed by PSJ Advisory following their appointment as receivers for ICICI Bank of India.

The Kenyan subsidiary of the world’s biggest producer of cut roses went under in February, last year.

The entity owes CfC Stanbic Bank and other creditors Sh400 million. The Kenya Revenue Authority was last year also demanding Sh962 million in alleged tax evasion charges after Karuturi was found guilty of transfer mis-pricing.

“Neither CfC nor the receivers have put the business and assets of Karuturi up for sale. The receivers fully respect the orders of the High Court of Kenya that restrains the receivers from selling the land and business until determination of the suit,” receiver managers Ian Small and Kieran Day said.

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“The receivers appointed by CfC Stanbic Bank remain in office. The reports have caused unnecessary anxiety and consternation within the business and industry. The receivers will at all times abide by the orders of the High Court of Kenya, the receivers appointed by CfC Stanbic Bank are not now entering into any sale,” Mr Day said.

REBUILDING BUSINESS

He added that the receivers (in Kenya) look forward to continuing with the rebuilding of the business in close co-operation with various stakeholders including the 2,500 employees working on the farm and its customers across Europe.

“The receiver and manager offers for sale the business and assets, as a going concern, of Karuturi Ltd 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,” the advert read.