Equity Bank and former SportPesa chair Paul Ndung’u’s family are embroiled in a court battle over a Ksh 600 million loan.
The bank is seeking to auction properties owned by tycoon businessman and his family over the loan in question.
According to a report on the Standard, the loan was given to Simba Fresh Produce Limited and Homes and Commercial Holdings Limited.
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Ndung’u owns a majority stake at Homes and Commercial Holdings while his wife and children are Simba Fresh shareholders.
Equity Bank claimed that the ex-Sportpesa chair he was aware of the auction, adding that it suspended the auction after that the companies promised to repay the loan.
The bank also claimed that they had given Simba Fresh a concession to enable Ndung’u to pay the loan but he failed to honor his end of the bargain.
“The second plaintiff (Ndung’u) as a charger has always had knowledge of the numerous correspondence exchanged between the plaintiffs and the defendant to restructure the loan
“The argument that the second plaintiff is not a shareholder or a director of the first plaintiff (Simba Fresh) is not a basis to stop the auction in the circumstances of the present case,” Equity Bank stated.
As of July 2022, Ndung’u owed Equity Bank Ksh 723 million and has continued to accrue interest over time.
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“The plaintiffs have not submitted any reasonable proposal to settle the outstanding debt. The allegation that the defendant has blocked or denied the plaintiffs the opportunity to redeem the security is without basis,” Equity added.
Simba Fresh Produce Limited
Simba Fresh Produce Limited is a privately owned company growing herbs, vegetables and fruits for the local and the international market.
They grow among other herbs mint, lemon grass, parsley, coriander, sage, thyme, marjoram, oregano and rosemary.
Their vegetables include sugar snaps, sno peas, baby courgettes, tender-stem broccoli, sweetcorn and babycorn.
They also grow avocados.
Ndung’u also owns a house located in Gigiri, near the United Nations offices, Nairobi County.
The house sits on a 2.8 acres piece of land that also hosts a servant’s quarter, an office, an external kitchen and a carpot.
It is valued at Ksh 300 million.
As earlier reported on WoK, Garam Investments Auctioneers had advertised that Ndung’u’s prime property in Gigiri is up for auction.
The property hosts a servant’s quarter, an office, an external kitchen and a carpot.
“All that parcel of land known as L.R. No. 7258/52 (I.R. No.22387) Gigiri Estate, Nairobi City registered in the name of Paul Wanderi Ndung’u g/t Simba Fresh Produce Limited,” the notice stated in part.
The auction was set to be held on March 21.
In a notice dated Tuesday, February 28, the auctioneers identified the building as a four-bedroom double-storey house.
It also sought to dispose of three other pieces of land in Solio, Laikipia County which are owned by Homes and Commercial Holdings.
In his case, Ndung’u said Simba Fresh secured a Ksh 600 million loan from Equity Bank, adding that he issued a personal guarantee of Ksh 300 million from the loan.
On the other hand, Homes and Commercial issued a corporate guarantee of the same amount.
With effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ndung’u said Simba Fresh negotiated for a moratorium and restructuring of the loan.
He added that owing to the disruptions caused by the pandemic, the company does not manage to pay the loan.
“The defendant has never notified the second and third plaintiff that the first plaintiff was in default and thereby demanded payment of the amount allegedly secured by them under personal guarantee and the corporate guarantee,” said Ndung’u.
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