Rwanda News Agency Grands Lacs Hebdo

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Government cedes tea factory to British firm

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Kigali: From 55% ownership stake, British tea firm LAB International has acquired another 35% from government making it almost the sole controlling power for the Pfunda Tea Company, RNA reports. Cabinet decided on Wednesday to cede 35% of its forty percent stake at $ 667,906 (about Rwf 350 million).

As for the 10 percent, government wants it given to the factory’s workers. In 2004, LAB International bought its majority stake at $ 1,060,160 (about Rwf 5.8 billion). According to government privatization plan for the company - combining the tea factory and large plantations in Western Rwanda, the government would transfer some shares to the local investors.

UK based tea trading company committed to invest $ 1 million during the next five years in order to develop the tea factory as well as the plantations, and to take back all the employees in place today, at their current conditions, and to keep them for one year at least.

In a related development, government has also sold its Fibre Optic to Lap Green – the Libyan firm that bought Rwandatel – state telecom company at $ 2.8 million. The firm was also given licence to operate the mobile phone service.  Cabinet also extended the operating licence for private and dominant mobile operator MTN.

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