Kenya's Nakumatt Supermarkets to merge with local rival Tuskys

Customers shop for fruits and vegetables inside the Nakumatt supermarket in the Westgate shopping mall, in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, July 18, 2015. Credit: Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

Kenya’s Nakumatt Supermarkets will merge with local retailer Tuskys to help alleviate a severe cash flow problem that has left it with empty shelves and led to the closure of some outlets, Nakumatt’s managing director said earlier this month.

Privately-owned Nakumatt had accumulated debts of $150 million by the start of this year.

“It is a merger,” Atul Shah told Reuters. Asked if the deal would help Nakumatt resolve its cash flow problems, he said: “It is a start.”

More details on the deal will be released later in the day, he said. Tuskys was not available for immediate comment.

An attempt to sell a 25 percent stake to a foreign fund for $75 million, reported by Reuters in January, failed, leaving Nakumatt with empty shelves as suppliers balked at providing stock.

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