Home » Centum, led by heirs of late Kenyan tycoon Chris Kirubi, secures SEZ license for Two Rivers development

Centum, led by heirs of late Kenyan tycoon Chris Kirubi, secures SEZ license for Two Rivers development

by Feyisayo Ajayi
Kenyan tycoon Chris Kirubi

Centum Investment, Kenya’s largest publicly traded investment firm, owned partly by Robert Kirubi and Mary-Ann Musangi, the heirs to the late Kenyan tycoon Chris Kirubi’s business empire, has obtained a special economic zone (SEZ) license for more than half of its Two Rivers development in Nairobi.

The strategic move positions Centum to leverage the business-friendly regulations for SEZ-domiciled firms and attract global service companies.

With the establishment of the Two Rivers International Finance and Innovation Center (Trific), Centum has allocated a substantial 64-acre area, surpassing half of the development’s total space of 106 acres, for the SEZ.

Trific encompasses 150,000 square feet of prime Grade A office space, including Trific North and Victoria Towers, as well as the Holiday Inn Hotel. Furthermore, it incorporates Centum’s housing projects such as Mizizi, Riverbank, Cascadia, and Lofts.

Centum Investment, renowned for its focus on real estate and private equity assets in East Africa’s consumer goods, financial, agribusiness, and power sectors, aims to revitalize its operations through this strategic move.

The company continues its efforts to restructure its balance sheets and reduce interest payments on its debt, as it seeks to recover from the financial downturn following the passing of Kirubi in 2021.

During the first half of its fiscal year 2023, Centum Investment recorded a net loss of Ksh1.55 billion ($12.6 million), primarily due to declining revenues and rising finance costs, exacerbated by unrealized foreign exchange losses.

Kenya’s efforts to create jobs and promote export-oriented investments for economic growth by 2030 have led to the gazetting of SEZs across the country.

The SEZ license for Two Rivers comes at a crucial time, offering the company new opportunities to boost its financial performance.

The SEZ aims to attract various industries, including business process outsourcing firms, technology companies, financial services providers, professional services firms, accounting firms, NGOs, media and entertainment companies, and international law firms.

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