Lancet Kenya faces imminent collapse if the ongoing boardroom wrangles are not sorted out.
According to its Website, Lancet is a leading pathology laboratory service home-grown in Africa providing vital diagnostic, monitoring, and screening testing from routine to specialized and esoteric tests
The founding CEO Ahmed Kalebi has accused the majority shareholders of sidelining him from operations including hiring of executives.
The firm has partners in France and South Africa.
It will now part ways with Kalebi next month when his term expires.
Dr Kalebi has demanded to be paid his dues amounting to Sh1.9 billion.
Through his lawyer Donald Kipkorir, he said he helped found the firm in 2009.
He accused majority shareholders of sidelining him from operations including hiring executives while adulterating his ownership.
Dr Kalebi is a pathologist.
He set up the ultramodern laboratory in September 2009 before it grew into a leading independent laboratory in the region.
It is part of the industry-leading Lancet Laboratories, founded more than 60 years ago in South Africa and now with a presence in more than 14 countries across Africa including Uganda and Tanzania.
On the other hand, Lancet Laboratories Kenya has an extensive branch network with over fifteen laboratories and patient service points across Kenya, however, the brainchild claims to have been thrown under the bus by the new majority shareholders.
“The total claim under the employment contract and under shareholder agreement is Sh1,851,879,151.75 which sums our client claims,” reads lawyer Donald Kipkorir’s.
The lawyer said he is basing the estimations on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recommended guidelines on pricing of intellectual property.
Early in the week, Kalebi sent a separation agreement to the directors of Lancet.
In his letter, Kalebi notified his partners of his intention to quit the firm on April 30 when his employment contract as East Africa Chief Executive Officer and chief consultant pathologist expires.
“The current term under the aforementioned employment contract is set to lapse on 30th April 2021 and our client does not wish to apply for a new term,” the lawyers letter reads.
Lancet Kenya operated under Pathologist Lancet Kenya (PLK) and Lancet Services Company (LSC).
In 2019, France-based multinational Cerba Healthcare bought shares in South Africa’s Lancet Laboratories for an undisclosed amount in a deal that saw it take control of the East African unit headed by Kalebi.
According to media reports on Monday, Lancet SA holds a 49 per cent stake in the joint venture while Cerba Healthcare has 51 per cent.
The joint venture, however, did not include operations in South Africa.
Cerba became the majority shareholder of Lancet Kenya while Dr Kalebi remained a minority shareholder with an estimated 20 percent stake.
In the letter, Kalebi calculates his assets at 7.67 per cent of PLK and 10 per cent of LSC and was on a monthly pay of Sh1.76 million.
His lawyers argue that Dr Kalebi accrued overtime from May 2009 to April 2021 amounting to Sh473,523,080; bonus pay for eleven years of service of Sh54.7 million; gratuity pay of Sh14.5 million and a golden parachute or exit package of Sh100 million, which in total amounts to Sh660 millions of employment claims alone.
“Our client wants his shares in PLK and LSC to be converted into preferred shares and free from any dilution without our client’s consent,” the letter reads in part.
Kalebi is also seeking goodwill payout for having built the firm and the brand over the past 12 years, with the East African unit said to generate annual sales of Sh2.5 billion.
“We are under instruction to claim for goodwill in the sum of Sh1,167,738,000 being the weighted average of our client’s contribution to the business brand and goodwill based on OECD’s recommended guidelines on pricing of intellectual property since 2009 to date,” reads part of Kipkorir’s letter.
Kalebi, a pathologist, set up the ultramodern laboratory in September 2009 before it grew into a leading independent laboratory in the region.
The People daily newspaper reported.
Kalebi notified his partners of his intention to quit the firm on April 30 when his employment contract as East Africa Chief Executive Officer and chief consultant pathology comes to an end.