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The businesses Dr. Chris Kirubi owned

Dr. Chris Kirubi dies aged 80

The late Dr. Chris Kirubi was part of a class of very few Kenyans who founded and ran multi-billion shilling businesses.

A decade ago, Forbes ranked him as Kenya’s second richest individual with an estimated net worth of Ksh.32.3 billion (US$.300 million) today.

One of the businesses that was the jewel of the crown of Kirubi’s business empire was Centum Investments Limited in which he held a significant shareholding.

According to Centum’s 2020 annual report, the late Dr. Kirubi held a 30.08 percent stake in the investment firm, making him the company’s top shareholder with slightly over 200 million shares.

At Monday’s closing price of Ksh.16.5, the late businessman’s shareholding is now worth Ksh.3.2 billion.

Through Centum, the late Dr. Kirubi had indirect control of various companies that include Sidian bank, Longhorn Publishers, Isuzu East Africa and Akiira Geothermal.

Dr. Kirubi also held vast interests in real estate through centum’s real estate subsidiary – Centum Real Estate.

One of the notable projects implemented by Centum being the Two Rivers Mall in the outskirts of Nairobi as well as Vipingo Development along the coast and the pearl marina in Uganda.

The late Dr. Kirubi was synonymous with the iconic International Life House in Nairobi’s Central Business District (CBD), a building he owned through Kiruma Investments Limited.

Dr. Kirubi was well known in the manufacturing circles as one of Kenya’s first indigenous industrialists, having ventured in the manufacturing sector in the 1970s and later served as Chairman of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM).

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Among the manufacturing companies he owned include Haco Industries which Specialises in household and personal care goods and Bayer East Africa, which is involved in the manufacturing of agrochemicals – where he served as deputy chairman.

Dr. Kirubi had interests in the soft drinks bottling business and was the Chairman of Coca Cola Nairobi bottlers.

Other businesses that Dr. Kirubi owned include DHL Worldwide Express, Capital Media Group and Smart Applications International among others.

Dr. Kirubi’s life as a businessman was, however, not without controversy.

In 2008, the late dr. Kirubi, who was the Chairman of the board of Uchumi Supermarkets, was arraigned in court on accusations of using his influence to sell Uchumi’s Aga Khan Walk branch building without independent valuation or an open competitive process.

After three years, the case was dismissed in 2011 on grounds that there was insufficient evidence to prove any conspiracy on Kirubi’s part to defraud the retailer.

He died Monday after a long battle with cancer at his home and in company of his family.

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