Serrari Group

Sri Lanka’s Browns Investments has made a significant move into the East African tea market with the acquisition of Lipton Teas and Infusions’ estates in Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania. The acquisition, pending regulatory approval, underscores Browns Investments’ strategic expansion beyond its Colombo base.

In addition to acquiring Lipton’s tea estates, Browns Investments has also taken over its subsidiaries in Rwanda and Tanzania, consolidating its presence in Africa’s key tea-producing regions.

Noteworthy in this deal is Browns Investments’ commitment to community welfare and sustainable practices. The agreement includes granting a 15 percent stake in the acquired company to the local communities of Bomet and Kericho, where the tea estates are situated. Moreover, Browns Investments has announced plans to establish a Community Welfare Trust, backed by an initial investment of Sh1 billion, aimed at addressing various local challenges.

Beyond asset transfer, the agreement mandates that all tea sold by Browns worldwide adhere to new standards covering quality, social responsibility, and environmental sustainability. This demonstrates Browns Investments’ dedication to raising industry benchmarks and promoting sustainable practices across its global operations.

Lipton Kenya Estates, encompassing 11 plantations and eight factories across Bomet, Kericho, and Kiambu counties, holds a significant position in the East African tea sector. Browns Investments’ acquisition signifies a new chapter for these estates and the communities they support.

This development follows Lipton Tea’s assets being acquired by European private equity firm CVC Capital Partners from Unilever over three years ago. Nathalie Roos, CEO of LIPTON Teas and Infusions, expressed confidence in Browns Investments as a partner to drive positive change in the tea industry. Roos emphasized Browns Investments’ credibility, capabilities, and scale in raising industry standards.

With this acquisition, Browns Investments strengthens its presence in the global tea market while demonstrating a commitment to sustainability and community development—a move poised to make a lasting impact on the industry.

photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

8th May, 2024

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