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Norfund supports Hela Apparel East African manufacturing operations with USD 14 Mn investment

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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 together with other representatives from Hela and Norfund. 

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.

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.

“Our expansion to Africa has been a rewarding venture, and we continue to see many opportunities within the region for further development,” said A.R Rasiah, Chairman of Hela Apparel Holdings.

“Given the increasingly unpredictable global environment, establishing long-term financing relationships with strategic partners who share our vision for Africa as a global apparel sourcing hub plays a critical role in ensuring the envisioned plans for growth are realized.” The proceeds from Norfund’s investment will also be utilized to strengthen Hela’s strategic supply chain partnerships in East Africa.

“We see great opportunities in contributing to large-scale job creation in East Africa by investing in the apparel and textile industry, in line with our goal of building sustainable businesses to 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,” 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.


Tuesday, February 28, 2023 – 01:00

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