Kenyan Tycoon Manu Chandaria To Lose Company Over $60 Million Debt by Forbes – Entrepreneurs

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Kenyan shilling banknotes and coins sit arranged at a market stall in Kenya. Photographer: Luis Tato/Bloomberg© 2017 Bloomberg Finance LP

Kaluworks Limited, a manufacturer of aluminum cookware and roofing sheets that is wholly owned by Manu Chandaria’s Comcraft Group, is facing auction over a $60 million debt owed to a consortium of Kenyan banks.

Over the last few weeks, some of Kenya’s leading banks and financial institutions have published notices in Kenyan newspapers announcing the auction of Kaluwork’s assets over its non-performing loans. Some of the banks Kaluworks is indebted to include I&M Bank, NIC Bank and Bank of Baroda. The banks have instructed auctioneers and debt collectors to auction off multi-million dollar properties including residential and commercial complexes owned by Kaluworks, which had been used to guarantee loans for Kaluworks after the firm failed to honor its obligations.

A senior executive of one of the financial institutions involved who sought anonymity because he is not allowed to speak to media said his bank loaned the money to Kaluworks because Manu Chandaria allegedly presented himself as the face of the company. Kaluworks is a subsidiary of Clovis Company Limited, a Bermuda-registered investment holding company that is owned by the Comcraft Group, of which Chandaria is the chairman and controlling shareholder. Manu Chandaria refused to comment for this article.

Kaluworks, one of Kenya’s largest manufacturers of aluminum utensils and roofing sheets, has been struggling financially over the last few years on the back of weak sales and increased competition from other cookware manufacturers. Last August, Sanlam Kenya, a non-bank financial services provider, announced that it had written off a $1.6 million corporate bond investment in Kaluworks as the firm was in distress and unable to pay.

The Comcraft Group, of which Kaluworks is a subsidiary, is one of the largest conglomerates in Africa. The group produces steel, plastics, and aluminum products from its manufacturing facilities in 16 African countries and employs a workforce of over 30,000 people in 45 countries on five continents.

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February 4, 2019 at 07:05AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs