Inside Politics

Brothers Sachen and Dirchen Chandaria earn Sh5.9b from sale of firm

Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 00:00 |
Sachen Chandaria.

Brothers Sachen and Dirchen Chandaria have pocketed Sh5.9 billion from the sale of Orbit Products Africa Ltd (Opal) manufacturing and warehousing facilities to property firm Grit Real Estate Income Group.

Under a new kind of financing deal in the Kenyan market, the firm’s manufacturing activities will continue on the same site, with Opal having agreed a new 25-year lease on the same premises, with an option for a further 10 years. 

Sachen, CEO of Orbit said “sale and lease back” opens a new path to cash injections and finance for manufacturing expansion at a time when finance is a strained issue everywhere in the world after the unprecedented economic shock delivered by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Opal is the contract manufacturer in Kenya for Reckitt, Colgate-Palmolive and Unilever.

The Mauritius-based property investor first announced in October 2019 that it had signed an agreement with Opal to buy its 20 acres of land in Mlolongo, Machakos, which houses its factory.

Listed on the London Stock-Exchange, Grit, runs one of Africa’s largest property investment portfolios, and already owns two other industrial properties in the same area around Mombasa Road – the Imperial Health Sciences logistics facility – and another site it will soon be developing to offer new industrial property.

Grit’s expansion across Africa has been rapid, moving to the main list on the London Stock Exchange in January this year.

“Under its new deal with Opal, Grit will now upgrade and expand the Mombasa Road manufacturing facilities to provide factory and middle management space for an additional 100 employees,” it said in a statement. 

The redevelopment the plant, which will be built to green certification standards, the firm added, will also create around 150 jobs during the course of the construction.

For investors in Grit, properties that secure long-term tenancies of 20 years or more with blue-chip tenants, such as Opal, are considered highly attractive investments.

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