KENYA – The South Nyanza Sugar Company (SONY Sugar) has appointed James Oluoch as the acting managing director as the firm undergoes major restructuring ahead of the upcoming privatisation.

According to the company’s board, Mr Oluoch, who is the current ICT head, will replace Bernard Otieno pending fresh hiring of a new boss within three to six months.

The company is also set to make major changes in its management including the managing director and chief finance manager among other senior management roles and has already invited interested individuals to apply for the position.

“We will soon conduct interviews and formally fill the vacant positions as we mark time for the planned auction of the State owned mill,” said the chairperson of company board chair Owino Likowa.

The firm also appointed Edward Odhiambo was appointed the finance manager replacing Peter Otieno who also proceeded on long leave, reports The Standard.

The recent restructure saw Daniel Ooro take over from Oluoch as the new Head of ICT while Mary Ouma took over as the acting Financial Accountant.

Established in the 1970s, Sony Sugar is 98.8 per cent owned by the government. Centum Investments has 0.7 per cent, Industrial Development Bank 0.28 per cent and Mehta Group 0.21 per cent. 

According to Joseph Koskey, chief executive officer of the Privatisation Commission the state will sell 51 percent stake of Sony Sugar, Chemelil, Nzoia, Muhoroni and Miwani companies to private investors.

The government also reserve another 24 percent for farmers and employees and later sell the remaining 25 percent stake in the milling companies in an initial public offering once the factories are profitable.

Mr Koskey said the county governments have been tasked with the responsibility of identifying farmers who will benefit from the 24 percent shares.

This comes at a time when some of the millers are heavily indebted with others like Miwani are under receivership.

However, Mr Koskey said the government will write off the debts to a certain level while the remaining amounts will be converted into equity.

During the first quarter of the year the state announced plans to write off US$385 million (Sh38.5 billion) in debts owed by various companies to pave way for the privatisation of the State-owned sugar millers.