Swiss Firm Moves Closer To Signing JKIA Shops Deal

Swiss firm Dufry International AG has moved closer to signing a contract with the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) for the building and maintenance of duty-free shops at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.

Passengers arrive at JKIA in August. Swiss firm Dufry International AG plans to build and  maintain duty-free shops at the airport. PHOTO | FILE

Passengers arrive at JKIA in August. Swiss firm Dufry International AG plans to build and maintain duty-free shops at the airport. PHOTO | FILE

This follows a High Court decision last week to strike out a petition by Dubai-based firm Suzan General, which was seeking to quash KAA’s award of the tender to the Swiss company.

Justice George Odunga last week ruled that the Dubai-based firm did not have an arguable case, hence denied it a chance to commence proceedings against KAA.

The judge agreed with the Public Procurement Administrative Review Board (PPARB’s) argument that Suzan General attached an incomplete version of the re-tendering documents, which he said complied with PPARB’s directions to make the applications more inclusive.

KAA lawyer Ken Ogetto had during the hearing taken the Court through the initial tender documents and the ones from the re-tendering process in a bid to prove that his client had complied with the directions.

“Having looked at the two documents I agree that indeed changes were made in the re-tender document. In fact, Suzan General’s advocate had nothing to say when the changes were pointed out by Mr Ogetto,” Justice Odunga said.

KAA had in its pleadings said that it had run the re-tendering documents by PPARB, and the same had been deemed favourable for the process.

The judge also faulted Suzan General for filing the suit 60 days after a winner was announced, which he said was long after the 14-day window for appeal.

“The applicant was aware that the tender closed on July 8. For two months it did nothing to challenge the validity of the revised tender document. The applicant did not explain why it waited for over 60 days,” added the judge.

The re-tendering was commenced in June this year after the PPARB cancelled an award of the deal to another Swiss firm, Nuance Group AG in December last year.

Justice Odunga’s ruling comes somewhat as a win for Nuance, which has since been acquired by Dufry in a $1.7 billion (Sh151 billion) deal.

– Business Daily