Equity Bank announced the development in an October 8, 2020 notice to all tenants. It said that Sudhir’s Meera Investments Limited had acquired the building. The bank sought to recover a $8.1million loan and therefore did the acquisition through an auction.
“We are writing to inform you that Equity Bank Uganda Limited, as mortgagee, has completed the sale of the above-mentioned property. This was after a public auction concluded on October 8, 2020, to the evaluated bidder M/S Meera Investment Ltd. Furthermore, all the tenants were put on notice of the said auction. This was via an advert in the Daily Monitor Newspaper dated September 8, 2020.” The notice signed by the Equity Bank Managing Director, Sam Kirubi read in part.
“The new owners will get in touch with all tenants individually to work out the modalities for the ownership transition. Therefore, we trust you to accord the new owners all the courtesy and all future rental payments and other tenant inquiries and obligations will be handled by billionaire Sudhir Ruparelia or his agents.”
Therefore, CL Risk Management requires tenants to start dealing with Meera Investments Limited directly as the new landlord. This is according to CL Risk Management Services who auctioned the house on behalf of the bank.
The cause of the sale
The sale of Simbamanyo house seems to be the climax of a legal dispute. The said rift is between the owner Peter Kamya who is also the proprietor of Simbamanyo Estates and Equity Bank Uganda and Equity Bank Kenya over unpaid loans to his company.
According to court documents, the two banks entered into an agreement. This was to have Simbamanyo get $6million loan to finance the construction of Afrique Suites Hotel in Mutungo. Additionally, the money was also meant to facilitate another loan previously advanced to the estates company.
The amount to be paid was $8.10 million(shs29.83bn), inclusive of interest and operational fees. Simbamanyo on the other hand, failed to service the loan. This prompted Equity Bank to take over Simbamanyo House along Lumumba Avenue.
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