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Monday September 25th, 2023

Singapore’s G&G bullish on Sri Lanka agro sector after Hatton Plantations buy

ECONOMYNEXT- Singapore-based G&G Group is looking to invest in Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector in the future, an official said after acquiring tea producer Hatton Plantation Plc (HPL) for 1 billion rupees despite heightened risk perceptions.

"We will use HPL as a platform through which we will consolidate in Sri Lanka’s agriculture sector with further opportunities," said Gowri Shankar, a Director of G&G subsidiary Lotus Renewable Energy Pty Ltd.

"We’re looking at not only tea, but other agriculture processes," he said.

The group is investing despite risk perceptions being heightened following Islamist suicide bombings in April.

"We’re passionate and want to support Sri Lanka during its time of need," Shankar said.

G&G, which invests in environmentally sustainable agriculture and energy, will be looking to invest in businesses that cater to both local and export markets in Sri Lanka, Shankar said.

"It is a combination of both, but we will be leaning more towards exports," he said.

HPL’s former owner Sunshine group, separated the tea operations from the rest of its businesses due to volatility of the commodity. Under Sunshine management, the tea firm was among the most profitable.

However, G&G is confident of the tea industry’s prospects in the long run.

"If we were too concerned about the volatility, we would not have invested," Shankar said.

"The investment falls in line with the long-term vision of our group."

G&G’s local subsidiary Lotus Renewable Energy Pvt Ltd will also be looking for more investments in hydro and LNG power generation, he said.


You may also read:

 Lotus Renewables buys Sri Lanka’s Hatton Plantations

Sunshine Holdings focusing on consumer and health after Sri Lanka tea farm exit


The firm paid a premium to market price for 51 percent. It has an option to buy more stock at the same price.

The stock fell from 6.90 rupees to 6.40 after the blasts. The new buyers paid 8.30 rupees for control. The stock closed trading at 7.90 rupees, up 1.80 rupees.

Net assets per share of HPL was 8.25 rupees in December.

The 1 billion rupee acquisition was financed partly through cash as well as debt, through NDB Bank.

Lotus Renewable Energy has been expanding its energy business with acquisitions including Browns Hydro Power and Zyrex Power over the past three years.

The G&G group has a turnover of 400 million US dollars and employs 20,000 people, according to its website. It farms on 50,000 hectares of land in Australia. Most of its operations are in grains,  pulses and oilseeds. 

The HPL acquisition will add 5,000 hectares and approximately 12.8 million US dollars in revenue to G&G.

It also has interests in companies such as Prima Group subsidiary Ceylon Agro Industries and Origin Teas, which owns 16 plantations in Sri Lanka .

Group Chairman Gary Seaton had held a 45 percent stake in Pussellawa Plantations in the past, before divesting in 2018. (Colombo/May28/2019)

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Sri Lanka sells 2028 bonds at 14.52-pct

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka sold all offered bonds in 2026 and 2028 maturities raising 220 billion rupees from an auction Monday, data from the state debt office showed.

The debt office sold 135 billion rupees of 1 June 2026 bonds to yield 15.64 percent.

Another 85 billion rupees in 01 July 2028 bonds were sold to yield 14.52 percent.

The 2028 bond is offered on tap at the weighted average yield. (Colombo/Sept25/2023)

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Sri Lanka’s stocks end down on Monday after slow day of trading

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka shares were down at close of trading on Monday.

Turnover was 550 million rupees.

The main All Share Price Index was down 0.36 percent or 40.02 points to 11,216.50, while the S&P SL20 was down 0.44 percent or 14.07 points to 3,164.52.

Trading in the Capital Goods Industry (174,037,134) drove turnover.

Commercial Bank, Expolanka Holdings, and Aitken Spence plc saw losses, while National Development Bank, John Keells Holdings and Melstacorp saw gains in the day’s trading.

The market saw a net foreign inflow of 13 million rupees, while the yearly net foreign inflow was 429 million rupees. (Colombo/Sep25/2023)

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Sri Lanka rupee closes at 324.75/324.90 to the US dollar

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee closed at 324.75/90 to the US dollar on Monday, from Friday’s close at 324.70/325.00 dealers said.

Bond yields were up.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2025 closed up at 15.55/15.70 percent on Monday, after closing at 14.95/15.30 percent on Friday.

A bond maturing on 01.08.2026 closed up at 15.50/15.65 percent up from 14.95/15.10 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.09.2027 closed up at 14.75/15.50 percent from 14.55/15.00 percent.

A bond maturing on 01.05.2028 closed up at 14.25/14.60 from 14.00/14.30 percent.

A bond maturing on 15.05.2030 closed stable at 13.00/13.50.

A bond maturing on 01.07.2032 closed at 12.95/13.45 percent from 13.00/13.45 percent. (Colombo/Sept25/2023)

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