Kenyan flower firm Karuturi have been saved from the noose by the acquisition of a stake by Dubai based Singaporean entity Phoenix Group.
Through an announcement made through the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), Phoenix Group has extended an arrangement that covers equity and debt for the Karuturi Global which aims to expand its operations in the agricultural commodities into the floriculture industry.
Karuturi, was of the largest exporter of Kenyan flowers before operations stalled in the last four years has been facing eventual liquidation after the High Court in Kenya in January 2018 ordered the auctioning of its assets by Stanbic Bank to recover a debt of Ksh. 1.8 billion.
The Naivasha based farm has 500 acres of land with 300 acres of greenhouses valued at over $100 million. During its heydays, the farm used to be the largest exporter of flowers, accounting for about 10 per cent of Kenya’s exports of cut flowers.
The acquisition comes after the end of a four year receivership that failed to reawaken the giant and is aimed at enabling the flower company meet its debt obligation as well as re-launch it into profitability.
“The investment into Karuturi is part of the firm’s expansion plan for the farming business. This investment is timely and adds floriculture and Kenya to our growing basket,” said Gaurav Dhawan, executive chairman of Phoenix Group.
“We are excited to contribute to the revival of Karuturi, thereby, enabling our 2,200-strong workforce of largely women and youth to come back to work. We only await certain clarifications from the court to initiate the process,” Dhawan said.