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Appeals court stops sale of Karuturi assets

By Antony Gitonga | Published Thu, May 24th 2018 at 00:00, Updated May 23rd 2018 at 19:35 GMT +3
Some of the green houses in Naivasha based Karuturi flower farm which was put under receivership three years ago leaving over 3,000 workers jobless. The owners are in court to stop the farm’s sale over debt. [File, Standard]

The Court of Appeal has temporarily suspended the sale of some items belonging to Naivasha-based Karuturi flower farm by a banking institution over pending debt.

This came a month after Stanbic Bank listed assets to be sold to recover the debt that the once leading rose producer owes it.

In the order issued by Justice Francis Tuiyott, the sale was stopped until June 14 when all the parties will appear before him.

Justice Tuiyott however directed that the process of evaluation of expression of interest by the bank could continue.

"No sale of the assets shall be concluded until June 14, when all the parties shall appear before this court of appeal," read the ruling.

In a paid newspaper advert, the receiver managers had detailed the items for sale but also indicated that the close to 125 hectares where the company sits would not be sold.

"The joint receiver managers of Karuturi Limited offer for sale all assets of the company situated along Moi South Lake road in Naivasha," said the notice.

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Greenhouse structures

Some of the items put up for sale included the greenhouse support structures and irrigation machines covering the whole area that previously occupied rose plantations.

Others are fumigation machines, pumps and assorted equipment worth millions of shillings.

The farm’s executive director Yeshoda Karuturi, in a statement, had accused the bank of irregularly demanding $24 million (Sh2.4 billion) from the farm which amounted to 600 per cent of the loan advanced.

"Karuturi has made public intent to repay CFC’s original debt of $4.04 million (Sh404 million) plus interest of up to 100 per cent of principal," she said. 

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