Friday, July 19, 2024

Equity Bank to auction billionaire Paul Ndungu’s property over Sh. 665 mn loan

Billionaire Paul Ndung’u has lost his court bid to stop the auctioning of his property over a Sh. 664.8 million Equity Bank loan.

The billionaire who was among the founders of betting firm SportPesa has been battling against the auction since February 2023 when Equity Bank put his property up for auction.

According to a February notice by Garam Investments Auctioneers, the prime multi-million properties had been set for auctioning between March 21 and March 24 2023. However, Ndung’u went to court and got temporary reprieve.

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“Under the instructions received from the chargee’s advocates, we shall sell by public auction the mentioned properties together with buildings and improvements erected therein,” Garam had said.

The properties that are set for auctioning include prime residential property on 2.8 acres of land along Limuru road in Gigiri, Nairobi county. The land is registered in the name of Paul Wanderi under Simba Fresh Produce Limited.

This property has been developed with a four-bedroom double-storey house, a single-storey servant quarter block, an external kitchen and a carport. This property will be auctioned on March 21, 2023.

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How billionaire in SportPesa scandal Paul Ndung’u made his billions

The second property to be auctioned will be a 600-acre commercial farm along Nyeri-Nanyuki road, next to Narumoru town in Laikipia county. It is registered in the name of Homes and Commercial Holdings Ltd, under Simba Fresh Produce Limited. This property will be auctioned on March 24.

The original debt was Sh. 600 million. However, this increased by Sh. 65 million in  interest and penalties.

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During the case hearing, Equity Bank told the court that Ndung’u was given a 12-month interest and principal repayment holiday starting May 18, 2020. He later defaulted when the debt service became due.

“The final condition concerns the balance of convenience; I hold that the plaintiffs have admitted indebtedness of a not insubstantial amount which continues to accrue interest,” Justice David Majanja said in the judgment that was issued on April 20.

“If the injunction is granted, the debt may continue to balloon to the extent that it eats into the value of the security. Without valuable security, the bank may be unable to recover the debt.”

Ndung’u has also been embroiled in a bitter fight with his former SportPesa co-owners over the ownership of the sports betting unit.

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