Jay Shree Tea to buy out another tea garden in Africa

Kolkata, June 25 (IANS) Jay Shree Tea and Industries, a B.K. Birla Group company, is expecting to buy out a tea garden in Africa by the end of this fiscal, top company officials said here Friday.

The company had acquired four gardens in Uganda and Rwanda in April.

‘We expect to close the latest deal by the end of 2010-11. With all the acquisitions in place, we see our topline crossing Rs 500 crore in 2010-11,’ company managing director D.P. Maheswari said.

In April, Jay Shree had bought 60 percent stake each in Mata Tea Co Ltd and Gisakura Tea Co Ltd in Rwanda, besides a 100 percent stake each Uganda’s Kijura Tea Co Ltd and Bondo Tea Estate.

While the Rwandan estates produce 4.1 million kg a year cumulatively, the two gardens in Uganda’s Kabarole district produce 1.2 mln kg in total.

‘Our recent acquisitions in Africa for Rs.30 crore have come at a very competitive price with a payback period of just two years. Now we are looking to buy more tea gardens there,’ chairman B.K. Birla told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting (AGM) Friday.

In the domestic market, the company had firmed up an alliance with the Assem Tea Corp in January for purchasing green leaf of Longai & Ishabeel tea estates and to operate the Longai tea factory to manufacture one million kg of made tea a year.

Birla said following the acquisitions, the company’s tea production is expected to jump to 26 million kg in 2010-11 as against 23.40 million kg last year.

Foraying into sugar, the company has acquired 100 percent stake in M.P. Chini Industries Ltd., an unlisted sugar company with a capacity of 4,600 TCD (tonnes of cane per day) at Majhaulia in Bihar.

Maheswari said the capacity of the sugar mill had been raised to 5500 tcd and the increased production would be available from October.

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