Uchumi goods put on auction

Thursday May 26 2016
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KAMPALA.

Goods belonging to Uchumi Supermarkets Uganda Limited have been auctioned by the official receiver, the Registrar General Uganda Registration Services Bureau in order to recover money owed to creditors.

In accordance with a court order, the auction of perishable items started on May 20 in the Ntinda Industrial Area.
The auctioned items included sanitary towels/diapers, spaghetti/macaroni, other foodstuffs in packets/tins, coffee and tea, soft drinks and other related items, wines/spirits, shoe polish as well as health medications comprising of food supplements/health living products and soaps.
Other items were toiletries, cosmetic products and related perishable household items.

According to the court order, the items were sold on the basis of as - is, where - is, non-returnable cash payment without refund or warranty after viewing.

A High Court order granted the liquidator permitting authority to sell by public auction of all perishable goods of Uchumi Supermarkets Uganda Limited in liquidation including all stocks with a limited shelf life.

“Bid forms can be purchased at the above mentioned place of sale on that day. Sale will be subject to the reserve price. A catalogue containing details of the items to be sold can be viewed,” reads the order, in part.

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Expansion drive
Uchumi opened shop in Uganda with a nominal capital of $1.6m (Shs5.296 billion) in May 2001 with the main branch at Garden City.

Other branches were subsequently opened in the city suburbs of Kabalagala and Nateete, as well as the upcountry towns of Mbale and Gulu.

A move to expand to Mbarara failed due to the losses the operations of the Uganda subsidiary was making.
Uchumi’s operations are projected to have a negative cash position of $7.1m (Shs23.8 billion) by end of December 2015, up from $3.78m (Shs12.7 billion) in September, the same year.

Documents filed in court show that the company had incurred a net loss of $3.062m (Shs10.3 billion) as of June 30, 2014.
Between January and June 2015, the supermarket registered losses amounting to $87,713 (Shs295.6 million).

The creditors
Uchumi Supermarket owes more than a dozen creditors including Crown Bottlers Uganda Limited, Century Bottling Company Ltd, Nateete Shopping Centre, Samona Products, Dembe Trading, as well as a number of landlords seeking their dues, The Kenya-based retailer closed operations in its Uganda and Tanzania subsidiaries in 2015 and later filed a bankruptcy petition seeking to wind up business so as to safeguard its remaining assets from creditors. This left hundreds of employees jobless.

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