Devki Group drops bid to lease Mumias Sugar Company

Devki Group of Companies has withdrawn its bid to lease the troubled Mumias Sugar Company. In a statement issued on Friday, Devki Group Chairman Narendra Raval cited increased public scrutiny on the transaction following the submission of the application. “Given the ongoing public interest which the matter has attracted and the call for a publicly run bidding exercise, we have found it worthwhile to take out our application,” he said. “We will however express interest, should the exercise be conducted in consultation with all the stakeholders.” Last month, Raval revealed Devki had been shortlisted in the Mumias Sugar takeover process by the miller’s receiver manager. The withdrawal of the bid by the steel and cement manufacturer is expected to dampen efforts to rekindle Mumias Sugar back to full-scale operations. In September 2019, KCB Group placed the miller under receivership after an accumulation of debt, appointing Ponangipalli Venkata as the company’s receiver manager. Since then, the miller has struggled to stay afloat and only resumed partial operations including the manufacture of ethanol. A government-backed task force proposed the leasing of struggling State-owned millers setting the path to the bidding process for Mumias Sugar Company. Mumias Sugar Company whose stock remains suspended on the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) is technically insolvent with its liabilities outstripping assets. The company has been unable to meet debt obligations to entities including banks, Kenya Power and the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA).

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