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February 22, 2019

BIC snatches Haco’s stationery contract

Businessman Chris Kirubi /FILE
Businessman Chris Kirubi /FILE

Billionaire Chris Kirubi’s interests in stationery manufacturing and distributorship sector suffered a major blow after BIC parent company took away manufacturing rights from Haco Industries.

The local maker has been making and distributing BIC branded stationery, including pens, lighters, shavers and notebooks for close to four decades, but this will now be done by SOCIETE BIC. The agreement will result in transfer of existing Haco industries facilities to BIC.

“After 40 years of successful collaboration with BIC, this transaction is proof of BIC’s confidence and belief in Kenya and the growth potential of the region,” Kirubi noted, saying the transfer is a positive move, and Haco will have opportunity to diversify and expand its business interests.

SOCIETE BIC chief executive Gonzalve Bich said the opportunity strengthens their position for development in a promising market.

“I am confident that the agreement will generate value for all our stakeholders as we fully integrate the business into the BIC Group.”

“The estimated regional stationery market is around 1.5 billion units annually and growing . With a strong focus on education, Kenya will be a driving force in the deployment of BIC’s ‘Writing the Future, Together’ sustainable development programme, which commits to improving the learning conditions of 250 million children globally, by 202,” Kirubi said.

Haco industries manufactures stationery, lighters, and shavers in Kenya, and distributes the products in East Africa.

This transaction is in line with BIC’s strategy to expand its reach in Africa and HACO’s long‐term growth plans to diversify portfolio and presence in Western and Southern Africa.

The transfer is expected to be completed by January 1 after approvals by the Competition Authority.

“Until the completion of the transfer, BIC and HACO will continue to work together for the mutual benefit of all stakeholders and the respective businesses to achieve a smooth transition,” Kirubi said.

The regional stationery market is estimated at 1.5 billion units annually, with a strong focus on education expected to drive demand for the products even higher. Haco manufacturing facilities began as a small assembly polant in Mombasa to grow to the current semi-automated production plant in Kasarani, Nairobi.

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