Processor of Kenya’s premium tea brand Kericho Gold gets backing from European financiers Si, IFU, Proparco

KENYA – Global Tea & Commodities, one of the fastest growing and fully integrated tea, coffee and macadamia producing companies with operations in Kenya and Malawi, is set to receive growth capital from three European financiers.

The three firms – French development finance institution Proparco, Danish sustainable investment fund IFU and London based investment and advisory firm Si Advisers LLP, have inked a financing agreement with the packer of premier tea brands, Kericho Gold and Baraka Chai.

Global Tea founded in 1992, trades in Kenya through its subsidiary Gold Crown Beverages, producing the Kericho Gold and Baraka Chai brands, alongside a private label tea packaging company, Gold Crown Foods, serving major supermarket chains across the globe as well as brands.

The proposed investment will assist Global Tea in building a new tea packaging facility in Mombasa, and support the group’s expansion plans in Africa.  

“We are delighted by this new partnership with Si, IFU and Proparco. Global Tea’s unceasing commitment to excellence in our products has created a great deal of pent-up demand from our customers and we are looking forward to deploying the investment to expand our value addition capabilities in Kenya, and to grow further throughout Africa – creating new jobs, new products, and better serving our customers.

“We are thrilled to have such a reputable and capable consortium of investors join us as we embark on this next stage of growth. This commitment by the European development finance institutions follows a debt raise we concluded from the International Finance Corporation,”said  Executive Chairman Global Tea Nadeem Ahmed.

In 2018, the company received US$4 million funding in loan from IFC to fund its expansion strategy in Kenya and Malawi.

Global Tea’s unceasing commitment to excellence in our products has created a great deal of pent-up demand from our customers and we are looking forward to deploying the investment to expand our value addition capabilities in Kenya, and to grow further throughout Africa – creating new jobs, new products, and better serving our customers.”

Executive Chairman Global Tea – Nadeem Ahmed

Without disclosing the amount to be injected in the production and processing company, Proparco highlighted that the closing of the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary conditions.

Tibor Asboth, Deputy Head of Equity – Africa & Middle East for Proparco, noted, “Proparco has long been supporting the growth of the agricultural sector in East Africa in order to strengthen its impact on job creation and sustainable development.

“Through our investment in Global Tea, we will support a regional champion known for the quality of its tea, coffee and macadamia products. We are proud to contribute to its ambitious growth strategy, which will benefit both smallholder farmers and consumers.”

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Global Tea is a major employer of women in Kenya and Malawi and supports the livelihoods of tens of thousands of smallholder farmers throughout the region. The Company’s products are FairTrade and Rainforest Alliance certified.

Thomas Hougaard, VP Sub Saharan Africa, said, IFU, “We are very pleased to provide growth capital to Global Tea as the company is a perfect match with our focus on supporting sustainable businesses in the African food sector.

“The company can now grow the business further and increase its footprint by creating new jobs and supporting more smallholder farmers, which will have a concrete impact on peoples’ lives. We are looking forward to take Global Tea to the next level.”

Ameel Somani, CEO of Si also noted “As Si’s maiden African growth investment, we could not be more pleased to be working with the Ahmed family and this consortium of leading investors.

“Global Tea presents a truly differentiated investment opportunity with its market leading product portfolio, vertically integrated operations, and exceptional management team.”

The investor consortium was advised by Trinity LLP, and Global Tea was advised by Anjarwalla & Khanna, Stephenson Harwood and KPMG.

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