Businessman David Langat is on the verge of losing a huge chunk of his multibillion empire following a debt default that has now piled to Sh2.1 billion owed to Transnational Bank.
Mr. Langat is now battling for his empire being targeted by auctioneers. A reserved power baron, David Lagat, the owner of Koisagat Tea Factory and Nyali Mall in Mombasa with penetrating interests in real estate, logistics, and shipment, is rarely in the limelight.
Auctioneers have given notice that they plan to sell off DL Koisagat Tea Estate in Nandi County as well as a prime property in Mombasa that DL Group uses for handling and packaging tea for export by August 1.
According to a public notice from the auctioneer Graham Investments, the parcel encompasses 1,342 acres and features a dedicated tea zone for export-oriented commercial tea cultivation. The estate boasts 2.47 million tea bushes across 958.75 acres, alongside 100,942 eucalyptus trees and 2,223 cypress trees.
The tea estate includes amenities such as a hospital and Koisagat Primary School. It also comprises residential areas, encompassing managerial houses and workers’ quarters. As stated by the auctioneers, woodlots are periodically harvested to supply wood fuel for tea processing.
The firm supplies tea to Tetley UK, one of the largest tea companies in the world.
The Mombasa property is located off Moi Avenue. Koisagat is one of the country’s most prominent black tea exporters and procures teas from farmers in Nandi County.
Other than the Koisagat Tea Estate in Nandi, the firm in 2018 expanded to Tanzania when it acquired three companies from the British firm Rift Valley Corporation for an estimated price of Sh6 billion.
The firm at the time bought a 99 per cent stake in Mufindi Tea and Coffee Ltd, Rift Valley Tea Solutions Ltd and Kibena Tea Ltd, which saw the company emerge as among the leading tea producers in Tanzania. DL Group has also diversified. It recently ventured into energy.
It is the firm behind the Selenkei and Cedate solar power plants in Eldoret, which have an installed power production capacity of 40 megawatts each. The two plants started feeding the national electricity grid in 2022.
Graham’s notice describes the subject property as a 0.7-acre plot housing a four-story office block and five go-downs. These go-downs serve various purposes, including the processing and packaging tea products.
Mr Langat’s properties in Shimanzi in Mombasa town, registered under the name of Koifan Developers Ltd will be auctioned in July 31 with the auctioneer hoping to raise Sh200 million from the sale.
Langat amassed his fortune through import and export ventures and later expanded into agribusiness, real estate, energy, hospitality, insurance, and special economic zones (SEZs). DL Group, his firm, indicates that importing and exporting goods, including electronics and furniture, were among its earliest activities after its establishment in the 1980s.
In the 2022 elections, Langat supported Kenyan President William Ruto’s bid for State House. President Ruto appointed him to the National Investment Council alongside other prominent entrepreneurs and executives, such as billionaire businessman Humphrey Kariuki and Sitoyo Lopokoiyit.
Langat has a history of failing to honor his debt obligations. In October 2021, he and his family members were sued by a travel agency for allegedly failing to settle a $152,000 travel bill incurred over one year.