CVC Capital Partners Exploring Sale of Kericho Tea Gardens: Unilever Brands Not for Sale
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Tea News for the week ending Aug 11
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Turmoil Makes Kericho Tea Estates a Highly Visible Liability for Investors
By Dan Bolton
The private equity group that paid 4.5 billion Euros for Unilever’s tea business in July 2022 is discussing the sale of the Kenyan gardens and factories supplying its popular tea brands, including Lipton Tea and Infusions, according to the Financial Times,
The newspaper reports three sources with detailed knowledge of the CVC Capital Partners’ plans.”The Kericho plantation has a history of violence and sexual abuse allegations. Protests in recent months led to the death of one tea worker, torching several tea harvesting machines, theft of tea, and acts of vandalism.
A Lipton spokesperson quoted in the news report said the company had received a number of unsolicited inbound expressions of interest in our estates and would “review this strategic question at the right point in time.”
The spokesperson said that if CVC sold the plantation, it would retain the rest of the business, which processes and markets tea under several brands, including PG Tips, Brooke Bond, and Pukka Herbs.