Sri Lanka Bogawantalawa in US tea deal with multinational

Aug 09, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lankan tea growing and marketing company Bogawantalawa Tea Estates said in a statement it was in talks with a multinational to sell packaged tea in the United States. Bogawatalawa Tea Estates manages 14 estates on 8,000 hectares at elevations of 3,000-5,000 feet and also sells tea, including iced teas, in the United States.

Most Sri Lankan tea producers sell their teas through the Colombo auctions but several firms are trying to establish their own brands and sell direct to consumers, cutting out middlemen. The company statement came in response to a query from the Colombo stock exchange on a sharp increase in the firm’s share price.

“We understand that the market has learnt of on-going negotiations with our partner in the US to supply a multinational with tea in packaged form by the wholly owned subsidiary BPL Teas,” the statement said.

“Only sample shipments have been made so far. No formal agreements have been entered into.

“This along with the favourable market conditions for tea may have contributed to the increase in the share price,” the company said.

It did not name the multinational or give further details.