Actis and Helios Investment Partners, two emerging markets private equity fund managers, have sold their respective minority shareholdings in Flamingo Holdings as part of the successful sale of 100% of Flamingo Holdings to James Finlay Limited on 20 July 2007.
Flamingo is a horticultural business involved in the growing, processing, packaging, marketing and distribution of cut flowers and fresh vegetables for the UK market and has significant interests in Kenya through its wholly-owned subsidiary Homegrown. They are the largest vertically integrated added value horticultural producer and exporter of flowers and vegetables from Africa to the EU as well as a major importer of flowers into the UK and vegetables from suppliers worldwide in Europe, South America, Asia and the Middle East.
Finlays, a wholly owned subsidiary of John Swire and Sons Limited, is a global tea company focusing on the manufacture and sale of black and green leaf teas, tea extracts and decaffeinated teas. Finlays’ plantations in Kenya, Uganda and Sri Lanka are regarded as being amongst the best in the world, producing around 45million kilos of tea each year. Finlays have other significant interests including tea trading, blending and packing with operations and sales offices in the UK, Europe, US, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
Commenting on the sale, Murray Grant, partner at Actis said "Flamingo is a premier supplier of cut flowers and prepared and premium vegetables to the leading supermarkets in Britain, a position it has established through hard work and an exceptional team led by the founder Dicky Evans. Their focus on detail with respect to quality, service and innovation as an integrated supply chain business has been exemplary and they are a role model for other African businesses looking to supply European customers. This has been a happy investment for Actis over the last four years during which time we have seen the business triple in size and continue to demonstrate management best practice to all stakeholders."
Flamingo Holdings has grown from a Kenya base established in 1982 to expand into the UK through the development and acquisition of four very efficient businesses as well as further businesses in Holland and South Africa. From a small start Flamingo now employs some 10,000 people worldwide. The Kenyan enterprise Homegrown has been voted ‘The Most Respected Agribusiness in East Africa’ for the last three years in a row by its peers and was recently awarded the honour of the ‘Agribusiness Company of the Year’.