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Mauritian firm eyes major stake in local furniture retailer

By Macharia Kamau | September 7th 2021

Furniture Palace premises. [Courtesy]

Mauritius-based Tana Furniture has bid to buy a majority stake in Kenya’s Furniture Palace International Ltd.

If successful, this will be the second acquisition that Tana has made in Kenya in the recent past, having in July this year concluded buying a minority stake in Quality Meat Packers (QMP) and its sister company, Anirita Poultry Farm.

Tana plans to acquire 55.9 per cent shareholding in Furniture Palace. Half of this stake will be acquired directly by Tana while the other half will be by its subsidiary Kitea S.A.

The company, which has operations in more than 20 countries, has sought regulatory approval from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Competition Commission.

“The proposed acquisition relates to Tana Furniture directly acquiring a 27.95 per cent shareholding in Furniture Palace Ltd (FPL) and a 27.95 per cent shareholding through Furniture for Africa (FFA) – a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kitea S.A which is jointly controlled by Tana Furniture,” said the Comesa Commission, which is now calling for public views on the deal.

“The acquisitions are interdependent, in that should Tana Furniture or FFA not acquire their respective 27.95 per cent shareholding in FPL, the other will not proceed with the acquisition.”

“The shareholding acquired by Tana Furniture and FFA represents 55.9 per cent of the share capital and voting rights of FPL.”

The Tana group has diverse interests within the Comesa region that range from healthcare to furniture, food and agri-business. In its submission to the Comesa competition watchdog, it said it expected Furniture Palace to start exporting to the region and benefit from its affiliate companies in Africa.

Other than QMP that it recently acquired, its food and agri-business arm Olam International has operations in Kenya. 

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