KENYA – Britania Foods Limited, which was once a behemoth in the Kenyan biscuit market, has been put under administration in a bid to craft a strategy to settle its debt of more than Ksh 1.3 billion (US$11m) provided by suppliers and creditors.

The move has been orchestrated by audit firm PKF Consulting Ltd who has in turn appointed Peter Kahi as administrator of the company, acting on behalf of DTB bank which is owed millions of shillings by the manufacturer.

Following the changes, all operational matters relating to Britania Foods Limited will be directed to and authorised by the administrator.

“By virtue of the Administration, the powers of the directors of the company in terms of dealing with the company’s assets have ceased.

“None of the directors, shareholders, employees and no other person is authorised to transact any business on behalf of the company without express written consent from the administrator,” said PKF Consulting in a statement.

According to reports by Business Daily, the administration appointment was drawn by DTB Bank for its unpaid debt of over Ksh 900 million (US$8m).

“Britania owes over Ksh400 million (US$3.65m) to its suppliers and we will be trying to revive the business and repay the debts. It may not have other bank creditors,” Mr Kahi said.

Kahi has over 30 years of experience in forensic and corporate recovery and was appointed administrator of Nakumatt Supermarkets to help oversee the liquidation of the company and the settlement of debts owed to creditors in 2018.

He also oversaw the liquidation of Ukwala Supermarkets, which was one of Kenya’s oldest retail stores.

“Britania owes over Ksh400 million (US$3.65m) to its suppliers and we will be trying to revive the business and repay the debts.”

Peter Kahi – Appointed Britania Foods administrator

PKF has called on all persons or entities owed by Britania Foods Limited to send particulars of their claims to the administrator before September 3, 2021.

The takeover by the administrators is coming barely a month after a supplier, Uzuri Foods Ltd, which delivered Britania Foods Ltd with flour between March and August 2019 moved to court seeking to liquidate the biscuit maker over unpaid bills totalling about Ksh 17.3 million (US$158,000)

It wanted the High Court to appoint Kolluri Venkata Subbaraya as the liquidator and give him the authority to sell assets as a debt recovery strategy, reports Star News.

In its defence, Britania argued that retail giants, Nakumatt and Tuskys collapsed while owing it more than Ksh50 million (US$456,000), and that the Covid-19 pandemic has hurt its biggest client base — schools and hotels.

Britania, which started out as a small bakery, has been in operation for 34 years, during which it grew into one of Kenya’s biggest local brands.

In 2017, it received undisclosed capital injection from UK’s development finance institution CDC through its Nairobi-based private equity fund manager Catalyst Principal Partners.

The capital was to be spent in upgrading Britania’s factory, innovation of new products and diversifying its offering in the fast-moving consumer goods market.

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