Biwott Family Completes Multi-Million Dollar Sale of Yaya Center

Biwott Family Completes Multi-Million Dollar Sale of Yaya Center

In a private transaction of substantial value, the descendants of the late Kenyan business tycoon and philanthropist Nicholas Biwott have finalized the sale of Nairobi's iconic Yaya Center shopping complex. The transaction involved a consortium of private investors, including one of Kenya's wealthiest families.

This transaction signals a significant chapter's close for the Biwott family, who had overseen the operations of Yaya Center for more than thirty years. The consortium, spearheaded by the affluent Rasik Kantaria family, will now assume control of this prominent retail complex nestled in Nairobi's Kilimani district.

Part of the arrangement includes the Rasik Kantaria family taking ownership of the high-end Yaya Apartments and Hotel, with intentions to revitalize Yaya Center into one of the premier malls within the region.

While the specifics of the financial arrangement remain confidential, individuals familiar with the matter have verified that the valuation of Yaya Center stood at a figure amounting to millions of dollars.

Originating in the 1980s, Yaya Center has evolved into a contemporary multifaceted shopping mall encompassing over a hundred shops and office spaces. The advantageous location and underlying land value have long been recognized as substantial assets, as demonstrated by a legal case in 1997 that pegged the complex's value at Ksh3 billion ($21.1 million).

However, the recent transaction's assessment encompassed more than just physical attributes; it accounted for the thriving businesses within the mall and the robust demand for rented spaces, augmenting its allure as an enticing investment opportunity for the consortium.

Nicholas Biwott, a prominent Kenyan entrepreneur and political figure, passed away at the age of 77 on July 11, 2017, at The Nairobi Hospital. He belonged to a generation of accomplished public servants who ventured into diverse business ventures that left a profound impact on Kenya's economy.

Across his career, Biwott delved into a wide array of enterprises, encompassing the Eldoret Town International Harvester franchise, the Kipsinende dairy farm, real estate holdings across the Rift Valley and Nairobi, commercial cultivation of wheat and maize, and an import-export enterprise focused on food and agriculture.

One of his notable achievements, Air Kenya, not only generated employment opportunities but also made a substantial contribution to Kenya's revenue and foreign investments throughout its four-decade span.

Following his demise, the Biwott family has been progressively divesting some of his businesses and assets. In 2020, they divested their interests in the oil marketer KenolKobil to the French multinational oil marketing company Rubis, a transaction valued at Ksh8.4 billion ($59 million).

The recent divestiture of Yaya Center underscores another significant step in the family's ongoing efforts to steward and optimize the enduring business legacy of their late patriarch.