The owners of Waterfront Karen mall have sued Shoprite over Ksh520 million in anticipated loss, that they say they stand to lose after Shoprite closed shop in the mall.
Two companies that own the facility, Crossroads Limited and Karen Waterfront Phase Two Limited, have gone to court claiming that they had a 10-year contract with Shoprite, that did not provide for termination.
The companies are owned by the family of late billionaire Nelson Muguku. According to Daniel Muthanji Muguku, a director of the two firms, Shoprite was the anchor tenant of the high-end facility and was key to pulling shoppers to the mall.
He told court that the exit of Shoprite caused panic and fear of loss of business among other tenants.
However, in defence, Shoprite denied being the anchor tenant, saying that Game Stores was the anchor tenant since it had a more strategic space.
Also, the retailer said that the mall owners deceived them by informing them that the mall would house important facilities such as banks, telcos, branded clothes outlets and ATMs which would guarantee good and regular customer footfalls.
The the High Court dismissed the petition to have the retail chain deposit Ksh520 million as security for its appearance in court.
“There is no allegation in the plaint that each or any of the directors committed fraud of the kind that would make them liable for acts which are ordinarily within the purview of authority of the company,” said Justice David Majanja.
The late Muguku died in 2010 aged 78. At that time, he was estimated to be worth Ksh10 billion owing to his poultry business and a 6.8 percent stake in Equity Bank.