- The cost at which the farms were sold was, however, not disclosed.
- James Finlay is a leading grower, manufacturer and supplier of Kenyan tea.
Sri Lankan firm, Browns Investments PLC has announced the completion of its acquisition of James Finlays-owned Kenyan tea estate business.
The sale which was first announced in May now paves the way for the company to start managing the multinational tea farms in Bomet and Kericho.
The cost at which the farms were sold was, however, not disclosed.
As part of the sale agreement, Browns and Finlays mutually agreed to acknowledge the long-standing support of the local community by offering 15 per cent of shares for public sale through the Kipsigis Highlands Multipurpose Cooperative Society.
Browns, headquartered in Colombo was selected as the best buyer based on its "strong legacy of guiding its tea estates to continued growth, but also its focus on doing so sustainably while supporting its workforce and local communities," a statement from Finlays read.
James Finlay is a leading grower, manufacturer and supplier of Kenyan tea.
It covers a total self-contained area of 10,300 hectares, including 5,200 hectares of tea fields over nine tea estates.
The sale includes all parts of James Finlay except the Saosa tea extraction facility which will remain under Finlays’ ownership and will become known as ‘Finlays Extracts, Kenya’.
Browns have a proud heritage in operating plantation businesses, owning Maturata Plantations, Hapugastenne Plantations PLC, and Udapussellawa Plantations PLC.
It is one of the largest tea-producing companies in Sri Lanka consisting of 49 individual estates that stretch across an area of over 30,000 hectares and employs over 10,000 individuals.
James Finlay Kenya, which will be referred to as ‘Browns Plantations Kenya’ in due course, is Brown’s first investment in the Kenyan tea industry which it sees as an exciting opportunity for growth.
In December 2021, Browns acquired Finlays’ Sri Lankan tea estates business.
Finlays has a long history in Kenya and is continuing to invest in the country through its continued ownership of the Saosa tea extracts facility, and its Kenyan tea sourcing and packing operation James Finlay Mombasa.
Saosa manufactures a range of tea extracts and aromas, adding significant value to the Kenyan economy.
Finlays managing director James Woodrow highlighted the impact of the company in the country's tea sector.
"While this is the end of an era, we are delighted that 15 per cent of shares in James Finlay Kenya will be owned by members of the local community,” he said.
He noted that they will continue to have a close relationship with ‘Browns Plantations Kenya’, and continue to invest in Kenya through both Saosa, our tea extraction facility, and through James Finlay Mombasa.
“We’re delighted to welcome all members of the James Finlay Kenya community into the Browns family," Browns CEO Kamantha Amarasekera said.
"It’s an amazing business, powered by an incredible community, and superb growth potential which will not just benefit the community, but the Kenyan economy at large.”