Botswana firm completes purchase of 30pc stake in Orbit factory

Workers at the Orbit chemical industries limited pack detergents. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Botswana’s real estate firm Letlole La Rona Limited (LLR) has completed the purchase of a 30 percent stake in Orbit Products Africa’s manufacturing facilities at an initial cost of $7.23 million (Sh856 million).

LLR will buy the stake from Mauritius-based Grit Real Estate Income Group, which earlier in March completed the purchase of the asset located in Mlolongo from businessman Sachen Chandaria in a multi-billion-shilling transaction.

Grit holds a minority stake of 30 percent in Letlole, making them related parties.

“Further to the announcement on May 20, 2022, the board of directors of Grit today confirms the completion of a 30 percent co-investment by Letlole La Rona Limited into Grit's industrial facility in Nairobi, Kenya, currently tenanted to Orbit Products Africa Ltd,” said Grit in a trading update.

“Conditions precedent have now been met, including LLR obtaining all necessary approvals, for the acquisition of a 30 percent shareholding in the Mauritian holding entity of the Asset.”

Orbit remains a tenant for an initial 25-year lease on the existing factory and warehouses. Orbit is a contract manufacturer for global firms such as Reckitt Benckiser, Colgate-Palmolive, and Unilever, producing fast-moving consumer goods on 20 acres of land in Mlolongo, Machakos, which houses the factory.

The redevelopment and expansion of the Orbit Africa warehousing and manufacturing facility are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2023 when the additional space will be let on a new 20-year lease to the fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer.

Mlolongo and Syokimau –along Mombasa road - are attracting new investment in storage and logistics following the completion of the standard gauge railway line to Nairobi and the inland container depot.

LLR’s current portfolio is predominantly comprised of Botswanan industrial warehouse assets.

The transaction marks LLR's first acquisition outside of its home country.

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