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Tuskys siblings in fresh fight over Sh. 1.6 billion ‘theft’

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Tuskys Siblings: A fresh family fight has emerged among siblings who own Tuskys Supermarket. This is after the fourth born in the family of seven announced that he will block the proposed majority stake sale that is aimed at rescuing the retailer from collapse.

Mr. Yusuf Mugweru says that the wrangles that have dogged the retailer for years now are yet to be resolved. He owns a 17.5 per cent stake in Tuskys.

“They reached out to us last Sunday to support the share sale, but we have declined unless past problems are resolved,” Mr. Mugweru’s lawyer, Philip Murgor, was quoted by the Business Daily on Monday. “A transaction in the nature of a buyout cannot be contemplated, without the express and written approval of all shareholders. Our client has not consented or approved such a transaction.”

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His main bone of contention is some Sh. 1.6 billion whose whereabouts he says is unknown. He is also demanding a forensic audit of the retailer’s accounts covering the past eight years. In May 2016, two brothers and co-owners of Tuskys were charged with theft of Sh. 1.64 billion from the retail chain. Stephen Mukuha and George Gachwe were charged with five counts of theft and set free on a cash bail of Sh. 1 million or Sh. 3 million bond each. The duo was accused of stealing the money “on diverse dates between 2002 and 2012. In November 2013, though, the High Court dismissed the case and ordered the siblings to settle the matter out of court.

Mr. Mugweru now says that family differences cannot allow for the sale to go on.

Tuskys is looking to sell troubled retailer Tuskys to a consortium of a private equity firm and a foreign retailer. The sale will see these two strategic investors acquire a majority and controlling stake.

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“The shareholders of Tuskys have communicated that they are also exploring other funding options, including seeking a strategic investor by July 31, 2020,” the Competition Authority of Kenya said in a statement last week.

The funds raised from the sale will be used to pay back suppliers whose pending bills are said to be running into billions. CAK further said that the sale will be fast tracked once the investors come on board. “The Authority took note of these initiatives and has thereof committed that, if the retailer opts to seek a strategic investor, the Authority shall within 14 days, and in accordance with the provisions of the Competition Act, consider and issue a determination upon submission of a merger/acquisition application,” the authority said.

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