HP East Africa Exits Market, shuts down Nairobi shop

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Hewlett Packard (HP) East Africa Ltd, a subsidiary to giant American technology firm Hewlett Packard, has closed shop after an “extraordinary GM” held earlier this month.

The firm’s exit is attributed to an “internal re-organisation,” which, as it turns out, has been dormant for years. It decided to exit the market in a members’ voluntary winding-up, with no court involvement.

“Hewlett Packard East Africa is a dormant subsidiary of HP and is being liquidated as part of internal re-organisation,” says PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Business Recovery Services Partner George Weru.

HP East Africa was just a shell company with no assets on its name, Weru told The Standard.

Despite that, the company, in a notice published in local newspapers, asked its creditors to file claims.

“Creditors of the company are required on or before October 9, 2020 to send full particulars of all the claims they may have against the company to the undersigned, the joint liquidators, personally or by his advocates, to come in and prove their debts or claims … or in default thereof, they,” said the notice.

Else, the notice says, the creditors “may be excluded from the benefit of any distribution made before such debts are proven.”

The notice clarified that the liquidation wouldn’t affect the companies affiliates.

HP East Africa Ltd has, in the past, fought with the taxman over a KES 232.8 million tax dispute between 2005 and 2011. The conflict erupted over the firm’s provision of services to Switzerland-based Hewlett Packard Europe BV (HP Europe), its mother company.

Weru argues that the closure is not as a result of the business challenges faced by the company.

HP has also been battling counterfeits. In June this year, together with local authorities HP seized close to 200,000 counterfeit products in Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania

The products include fake HP printer cartridges and components that were meant to be used to assemble further counterfeits.

In Kenya, HP and authorities successfully seized 5,400 counterfeit toner cartridges from 12 retail outlets in February 2020. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania between October 2019 and March 2020, a series of raids resulted in the confiscation of approximately 185,000 illicit items.

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