Hela Clothing, the Sri Lankan Apparel giant specializing in sleepwear, underwear, and children’s apparel, became the first major Sri Lankan manufacturer to operate in Egypt.
The company acquired a distressed 220,000 square foot fabric and accessory manufacturing plant in Alexandria, Egypt, with over 1000 employees. According to Hela CEO Dilanka Jinadasa, the acquisition was made to replicate potential similar to Turkey’s apparel export market valued at $20 billion and have quick access to Europe and the United States, reducing lead time.
The incursion into North Africa comes after a successful entry into East Africa, with the company establishing manufacturing plants in both Kenya and Ethiopia over five years ago. Overall, Hela owns two plants in Kenya, 2 in Ethiopia, and 7 in Sri Lanka, bringing the total to eleven. Both the local and overseas plants have over 8000 employees under their wing.
With the acquisition in Egypt, the company, through its Mauritius-registered investment arm Hela Investment Holdings has invested over $25 million in the last five years and has increased its capacity to 1.2 million person-hours and experiences a year-on-year average growth of 20%.
The company stated that they are ready to make two more strategic moves made public in the coming months. Furthermore, the upcoming IPO plans to offer a 20% stake in the company. The company hopes to raise over $20 million and says part of the profits will finance its acquisitions and expansions.
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