National Cement to retain ARM employees in new deal to protect jobsOctober 15, 2019
NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – All the 1,100 employees of Athi River Mining (ARM) Company previously put under administration will be retained by the group’s subsidiary, National Cement Company, Devki Group Chairperson Nerandra Raval has confirmed.
Raval on Monday said the decision to retain all the affected employees was deliberately anchored in Devki Group’s resolve to protect their livelihoods and support job creation as the company continues to play a significant role in boosting the country’s manufacturing output and support affordable housing drive by reducing the cost of construction materials.
He was speaking to all the employees of the former ARM Cement (Under administration) at the Athi River Plant when ARM Cement administrators, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), handed over the operations of ARM to National Cement.
“We are happy to inform you today that we have been able to complete the ARM acquisition and cleared all the transaction cost amounting to Sh5 billion to the PwC,” said Raval.
“We want to play a pivotal role in government’s big four Agenda on Manufacturing and Affordable housing by having enough workforce to boost manufacturing activities,” added Raval.
The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) on October 4, 2019 gave National Cement Company the nod to take over the operations of ARM Cement.
CAK in a letter signed by CAK Chairperson Ambassador Nelson Ndirangu and Director-General Wang’ombe Kariuki asked National Cement to retain 95 per cent or 1,054 of 1,100 of ARM Cement (Under administration) employees.
“To stay true to our mission and vision, National Cement Co. Ltd is pleased to report that we have gone a step further to retain all the employees as we work together to improve the productivity and create more employment in the future,” said Raval.
“This is a true testament to our commitment in supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Big Four Agenda on Manufacturing and provision of Affordable Housing.”
George Weru, Joint Administrator for ARM Cement said, “We are pleased to announce the completion of this Transaction which marks a crucial step for the delivery of our mandate as Joint Administrators of ARM Cement to realize value for the creditors, ensure continuity for the business and its suppliers and in the process safeguard the jobs of its employees through a going concern sale. Achieving this important milestone in the administration would not have been possible without the support and cooperation of various stakeholders including the Company’s employees, creditors, regulators as well as the various financial and legal advisors that have worked tirelessly to ensure the completion.”
The additional workforce effectively makes Devki Group one of the biggest direct employers in the country with 6,000 local workers.
Raval said the new development underscores Devki Group’s commitment in the production of quality and affordable steel and cement to spur development in the construction industry and job creation.
“Increased supply of construction materials like steel and cement in the market will significantly reduce prices and overall construction costs to make it easier for more Kenyans to own homes,” he said.
The government has committed to construct 500,000 affordable houses in the next five years to alleviate the housing shortage in the country and boost the contribution of manufacturing to the economy.
Raval said he is committed to supporting President Uhuru Kenyatta’s administration on its plan to set up new affordable housing units.
“Our strategic position allows us to make significant contributions in these two sectors. Our bigger workforce is our strength. We remain committed to providing quality steel and cement at affordable prices to all our local customers,” he said.
ARM operations in Kenya include clinker and cement grinding plants in Kaloleni, Nairobi.