In a move that could reshape Kenya's tea industry landscape, B Commodities ME (FZE), a United Arab Emirates (UAE) based firm, is poised to acquire a controlling stake in Limuru Tea.

The acquisition comes on the heels of another major development in the sector, with Sri Lankan company Browns Investments taking over Lipton's tea estates in East Africa.

B Commodities announced the signing of a share purchase agreement with Ekaterra Company, the current majority shareholder of Limuru Tea.

The deal entails the acquisition of 51.99 per cent of Limuru Tea's share capital, granting B Commodities indirect control and beneficial ownership upon completion.

This acquisition follows Ekaterra's divestment of various subsidiaries and affiliates in East Africa, including a 95.56 per cent stake in Lipton Teas, as highlighted in B Commodities' statement: "On 6th May 2024, Ekaterra and B Commodities entered into a share purchase agreement for the sale of the share capital of various Ekaterra subsidies and /or affiliates in East Africa including 95.56 per cent of the total issued capital of Lipton tea."

“The transaction will, upon completion, result in B commodities indirectly acquiring effective control and beneficial shareholding of Limuru tea equal to 51.99 per cent of the issued share capital of Limuru Tea," the notice read.

The move comes amidst a booming Kenyan tea industry.

According to the Kenya Tea Board, the country's tea exports reached a record Sh180.57 billion (approximately $1.22 billion) in 2023, reflecting a significant 31 per cent year-on-year increase.

This acquisition follows Browns Investments' purchase of Lipton's tea estates in Kenya, Rwanda, and Tanzania, announced on May 7th, 2024.

The Sri Lankan company's deal includes a 15 per cent stake allocation for communities residing in Bomet and Kericho, where the acquired estates are situated.

Browns Investments also pledged to establish a Community Welfare Trust with an initial investment of Sh1 billion to address local community challenges.

The implications of B Commodities' acquisition of Limuru Tea remain to be seen.

However, it undoubtedly signals a period of significant change within the Kenyan tea industry, with foreign investment playing an increasingly prominent role.