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Indian firm excited after buying Rwanda tea factories

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Kigali: Jay Shree Tea & Industries (JTIL) is close to acquiring tea estates in Rwanda – and is already telling its investors that the purchases are a good deal for the Indian conglomerate and parent company BK Birla group, its management announced Tuesday.

JTIL has also finalised plans to enter into a marketing pact with a yet unnamed Rwandan tea company. Together, they have formed the Tea Group Investments Ltd which has acquired 60% stakes in Mata and Gisakura tea factories – both located in South west.

According to this tie-up, JTIL will buy 6 million kg of black tea through its Dubai-based subsidiary, Birla Holdings Dubai. The Dubai company will market the tea internationally under the Birla brand name.

The firm has also bought one tea factory in Uganda.

A board meeting has been called on April 28 to approve the overseas acquisition and pave the way for signing agreements with Ugandan and Rwandan partners.

“This time, the acquisition of tea estates in Uganda and Rwanda is surely going to happen. We will acquire two tea estates in Rwanda and one in Uganda. The three estates together produce 5 million kg of tea,” said DP Maheshwari, managing director of JTIL, according to The Economic Times of India

But Mr Maheshwari did not divulge the deal size. “It will be announced on April 28 only,” he said.

This will be the company’s first overseas acquisition in the tea space and would lift production from 23.5 million kg to nearly 29 million kg in 2010-11.



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