Photo: Finlays/Simon Roughneen
Finlays scales down operations in Sri Lanka with sale of tea estates to Brown Investments
SRI LANKA – Finlays, a leading tea, coffee, and botanical extracts supplier, is scaling down its operations in Sri Lanka with the sale of its tea estate business to Brown Investments.
According to a statement from the UK firm, the deal will include the Hapugastenne Plantations (HPL) and Udapussellawa Plantations (UPL).
Together the plantations comprise 30 tea farms and 20 processing centers located in seven agro-climatic regions of Sri Lanka.
“After careful consideration and a rigorous selection process, we have agreed to transfer ownership of our Sri Lankan tea estates to Browns,” says Guy Chambers, group managing director of Finlays.
Browns Investments has a successful track record in operating plantation businesses in the region.
The investment firm owns Maturata plantations, a tea processing company consisting of 19 estates, spanning more than 12,000 hectares and cultivated by a workforce of about 5,000 people.
“As a Sri Lanka-based investment firm with a strong track record in agriculture, Browns is ideally placed to unlock the long-term value of the plantations,” chambers added.
These Sri Lankan farms have played an important role in Finlays’ history, and we are sure that they will continue to flourish under the ownership of Browns Investments PLC, explains Chambers.
“Hapugastenne plantations and Udapussellawa plantations are two of the best managed and productive plantation companies in Sri Lanka and we are proud to be associated in their future journey,” adds Kamantha Amarasekera, director of Browns Investments.
“We will work with Finlays to ensure a smooth transition between the two groups. We warmly welcome the management and staff of HPLand UPL to the Browns family, which has a business heritage dating back to 1875.”
Finlays will still be represented in Sri Lanka by Finlays Colombo, its tea blending and packing operation that sources teas from multiple origins including via the Colombo auction.
The sale follows Unilever’s announcement that it had entered into an agreement to sell its global Tea business, ekaterra, to CVC Capital Partners Fund VIII for €4.5 billion on a cash-free, debt-free basis.
Prior to the sale, Unilever had also sold its tea operations in Kenya to a new foreign entity, Holdco UK Limited (TeaCo).
Meanwhile, Finlays has expanded into the coffee ingredients segment with the installation of a coffee extraction plant at its facility in northern England committed to boosting the cold brew coffee industry.