Keroche's posh homes, depot face auction over huge debt

Business
By Brian Ngugi | Dec 13, 2023
A KRA official reopens Keroche Breweries in July 2022 after the brewer was shut for breaching terms of repaying tax arrears. [File, Standard]

Two prime properties worth millions of shillings belonging to the Naivasha-based prominent business Keroche family have been put up for auction over an outstanding debt.

The prime properties in Muranga and Nairobi’s Industrial Area have been up for auction by Nairobi-based Watt’s Auctioneers.

The Standard could not immediately reach Keroche for comment by press time.

The auctioneer however remained tightlipped yesterday on the circumstances surrounding the sale when reached by The Standard.

A notice placed on dailies said the auctioneers are selling the Keroche’s prime rural property in Rwegetha Gatanga in Murang’a County.

The luxury property is situated in the Rwegetha area fronting Thika-Gatura road, the main road, and measures approximately 2.63 hectares or 6.5 acres, said the notice.

It is registered in the names of Joseph Muigai Karanja and Tabitha Mukami Muigai who are listed as guarantors to Keroche Breweries Ltd. The property is developed with a bungalow, servant quarters, an ancillary structure hosting an ablution block, a generator room and a guard gatehouse.

Rural setting

The main house comprises of entrance patio, living room, kitchen room, common washroom, two bedrooms and a master bedroom ensuite. The other part of the land is largely vacant. “This is a prime property of a rural setting,” says the auctioneer while underlining it is a prime property.

The auctioneer says all interested purchasers are requested to view the properties and verify the details for themselves.

“A deposit of at least 25 per cent must be paid in Cash or Banker’s Cheque at the fall of the hammer and the balance to be paid within 90 days to the charges,” said the auctioneer.

The auctioneer is also seeking to sell Industrial Area premises owned by the Keroche family used as a depot for Keroche Breweries.

“All that leasehold interest for a term of 99 years from 1994 parcel known as L.R.NO: 22212/10 (IR.NO: 70989) Nairobi Industrial Area, situated off Enterprise Road and along Road A about six kilometres from the City Centre, measuring 0.0426 Ha (0.1 acres) approximately and registered in the names of Joseph Muigai Karanja And Tabitha Mukami Muigai Guarantors to Keroche Breweries Ltd Of P.o, Box 6-20117 Naivasha,” says Watts Auctioneers.

The Keroche family is the latest prominent personality to have fallen into hard times as they battle auctioneers over unpaid bank loans. Keroche’s founder, Tabitha Karanja is the current Nakuru senator having won the seat in the August 9 2022, elections.

Several Kenyans are struggling to hold onto their prime assets over mounting bank loans as Kenya’s economy slows down and repossessions pick up. Keroche, owned by the Karanja family, earlier last year faced off with the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) over a multi-billion tax demand.

The Keroche family protested the tax bill but KRA at the time said the brewer owed the State over Sh22 billion in unpaid taxes.

Keroche had high hopes of capitalising on the patriotism of Kenya’s growing middle class to gain a larger share of the market, but the KRA crackdown dealt a significant blow to their plans.

While the financial details of Keroche, a privately owned company, are not publicly available, it was anticipated that raising billions of shillings would be a challenging task if the KRA had its way.

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