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Norfund to support development of Hela Apparel Holdings’ East African operations with USD 14Mn investment


Norfund, the Norwegian government’s investment fund, with a mission to support sustainably driven business operations in developing countries, recently signed a USD 14 million financing agreement with Hela Apparel Holdings PLC to bolster the development of its manufacturing operations in East Africa.

NDB Investment Bank Limited acted as the Financial Advisor for the transaction. 
The official announcement was made in the presence of His Excellency Gunnar Andreas Holm -Norwegian Ambassador to Kenya, Tellef Thorleifsson - CEO of Norfund, William Nyaoke -Norfund’s Regional Director for East Africa, Nishantha Mohottige - Country Director for Hela
Kenya and Rukshan Aponso - Vice President of Corporate Advisory for NDB Investment Bank Limited, at an event held at Hela's manufacturing facility in Kenya on the 24 th of February 2023.
Hela Kenya, established in 2016, is the largest manufacturing facility within the Hela Group and employs over 4,000 people. The facility is also one of the largest of its kind in Kenya, and currently produces approximately 20% of the country’s total apparel exports.

Hela was the first major Sri Lankan apparel manufacturer to establish operations in Kenya and has played a leading role in the rapid growth of the industry across the continent over recent years, with the
subsequent establishment of manufacturing locations in Ethiopia and Egypt.

combat poverty. We have been impressed with what Hela has already delivered through its investments in East Africa and are confident that this partnership will go a long way in helping Hela create more employment opportunities primarily for low-skilled women and those vulnerable in society who struggle to find such opportunities.

We look forward to a fruitful partnership in the years to come”, says William Nyaoke, Norfund's Regional Director for East Africa.
“Norfund is one of the largest shareholders of our ultimate parent, NDB Bank, and our relationship with them has been a very successful one indeed, and this transaction was no exception”, stated Darshan Perera, Chief Executive Officer of NDBIB.

“The wealth of knowledge gained by our prior dealings with Norfund and other DFIs enabled us to successfully execute this transaction, which is Hela’s first fundraising via a DFI. We are extremely pleased to have advised Hela in our debut transaction in the African Region and look forward to working with them in realizing their plans in Africa.” He further stated.

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