EADB in USD 2 Million Expansion Loan to Kenya’s Benvar Estates

EADB has entered into a financing arrangement with Benvar Estates Limited (BEL) for a USD 2 million loan repayable in seven years (including 1 year grace period). Founded in 2002, BELis incorporated and registered in Kenya as a private limited liability company. It has authorized, issued and paid up share capital of KES 15 million divided into 150,000 ordinary shares of KES 100 each. The brains behind the project are Mr. and Mrs. Kennedy Mbugua Thairu, who are experienced business people in their early 50s.

The loan will be used in expansion of horticulture operations at nucleus farm in Juja, Kiambu County and purchase of two pieces stone-cutting machines for quarrying in the same area. EADB’s financing accounts for 24% of the total cost of the project currently valued at USD 8.4 million. The balance of USD 6.4 million will be financed through equity contributions by the two shareholders.

The firm’s current operations include horticulture farming and export pack house on 300 acres, coffee farming and pulping factoryon 400 acres and a mechanised stone quarrying including 3 open pit mines occupying 2.5 acres each served by two stone cutting machines

The proposed expansion covers additional 37 acres of horticulture under drip irrigation bringing the total cultivated acreage under horticulture at nucleus farm to 237 acres, with 12 acres under green-house/protected agriculture. It also includes additional machinery, farm implements, processing equipment, drip-irrigation lines, greenhouse fittings and motor vehicles.

The overall impact of the EADB term loan is expected increase in horticulture export shipments to 30,000 kg high-value product per week and doubled production capacity of the quarry (from 2 to 4 machines).

BEL, located 34 Km from Nairobi along the Thika-Nairobi highway with proximity to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport through highway by-pass, has been in large-scale horticulture operations for 10 years. They have more than 1200 acres valuable land off the Thika-Nairobi super-highway. During the past ten years, they have had consistent and guaranteed market in Europe. Strong growth in demand for horticulture products from European customers is good news for ‘Benvar Country Fresh’, now a well-known brand in European supermarket chains.

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