Cabinet approves takeover of Gisovu Tea Company

KIGALI - The cabinet meeting of Friday, Feb 11, approved the handover of Gisovu Tea Company to the new owners, Borelli Tea Holdings and McLeod Russell India.
One of the tea plantations in the country. Cabinet recently approved the takeover of Gisovu Tea (File Photo)
One of the tea plantations in the country. Cabinet recently approved the takeover of Gisovu Tea (File Photo)

KIGALI - The cabinet meeting of Friday, Feb 11, approved the handover of Gisovu Tea Company to the new owners, Borelli Tea Holdings and McLeod Russell India.

Borelli Tea Holdings, a UK-based firm owned by McLeod Russell India, the World’s largest tea producer, acquired controlling stakes in the tea company which produces an estimated 1.7 million kilogrammes of tea annually.

The firm had its bid successfully accepted in late 2009 as the government moved to privatise tea companies and will now fully take charge of the factory that was being managed by OCIR-Thé, the National Tea Marketing Board.

In an interview with The New Times, the Director General of OCIR-Thé, Anthony Butera, confirmed the takeover.
“At the investment level, the deal was being handled by Rwanda Development Board (RDB) which is charged with the task of privatisation and the Ministry of Justice,” Butera said

“What I know is that it was sold to McLeod Russell Ltd and we are just waiting to handover to them when time comes,” he added.

A shareholder’s agreement to acquire 75% equity stake in Gisovu Tea Company was signed by Borelli Tea Holdings in 2009. The UK-based firm reportedly paid US$2.75m.

Upon acquisition, the Managing Director of McLeod Russell Aditya Khaitan, described the ownership of Gisovu as “a dream come true” as the company had been looking for opportunities in Africa for long.

“We’ll invest in Gisovu to step up its production to two million kilogrammes annually within a year or two,” Khaitan said.

He said that the Indian firm has plans to acquire another 1,000 hectares in that area and raise the total production to four million kilos annually, within four to five years.

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