Unilever Tea Kenya Limited’s Board of Directors has approved plans to separate its tea business following a decision by its parent firmUnilever Group to separate its global tea business including tea plantations.
Subject to any regulatory approvals, its Kenyan tea business will be transferred to a foreign newly incorporated tea company Unilever Tea Holdco UK Limited (TeaCo). The company says the idea is to create a dedicated tea group within Unilever Group.
Uniliver Interest in Limuru Tea
In a notice to shareholders of Limuru Tea, Unilever Kenya Board said the assets being transferred to TeaCo include Unilever Tea Kenya.
By virtue of the transfer of shares, UTKL’s indirect interest in Limuru Tea Plc will also transfer to TeaCo. Unilever Kenya owns a 52% stake in the Nairobi listed Limuru Tea Plc.
Unilever Tea Kenya Ltd, a subsidiary of Unilever, an Anglo-Dutch conglomerate, is involved in the production of tea, mainly for export.
UTKL started as Brooke Bond Kenya (BBK). The name was changed to Unilever Tea Kenya Limited (UTKL) in 2004. Today, UTKL has a total landholding standing at 16 223 acres, has 20 tea estates and eight factories manufacturing an average of 32 million kgs of tea per year.
In January 2009 Unilever Tea was delisted from the Nairobi Stock exchange after Brooke Bond took its holding in the company to 97.65 per cent. The drive for the Anglo-Dutch firm to de-list from the NSE emanated from the fact that it does not meet the requirement that all listed firms should have at least a 25% equity stake owned by local shareholders.
The multinational has a worldwide network and achieves close to half of its turnover in developing and emerging markets in Asia, Africa, Central & Eastern Europe and Latin America.