Our Journey

From humble beginnings, we have developed a diverse portfolio and international presence. Spanning three decades, our success over time is due to entrepreneurship, sound evolution and hard work. As we continue to expand and serve in diverse markets, we are exceptionally positioned to continue our heritage of innovation, equipped with dynamism and the power to progress.

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1983-1989

The Dawn of Stassen

1977-1982

Commencing operations in 1977, Stassen Exports began exporting bulk tea, tea bags and packeted tea. In 1982, Stassen’s pioneering spirit engineered the first successful commercial production of green tea in Sri Lanka. Stassen’s produce export division was initiated the same year for the export of high-quality desiccated coconut, whole coconut, spices and cashew.

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1983-1989

The Early Years

1983-1989

Initiating organic tea cultivation, Stassen Natural Foods develops the world’s first-ever internationally certified organic tea garden in 1987. Expansion continued apace in 1988 with the acquisition of a major shareholding in Hatton National Bank representing our primary foray into the banking sector.

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1990-1992

Ensuring the Future

1990-1992

Trading activities broaden as the Group commences the export of coir briquettes destined for Japan and Germany in 1990. The following year, the nation witnessed the first structured import of international food brands by the FMCG imports division of Stassen Exports. Also in 1991, the strategic dairy sector was in the limelight as the Group swiftly acquired majority shares in Lanka Milk Foods.

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1993-1999

The Road to Diversification

1993-1999

In 1993, the Group undertook the construction of a large stores complex. To-date, this complex is recognised as a key site for warehousing and cold storage. 1996, witnessed the Group expanding its association within the wine and spirits industry through a strategic partnership with Group Pernod Ricard (France) and DCSL. The same year saw the Stassen Group solidify its presence in the tea industry through significant backward integration via investments in Madulsima Plantations PLC, and the following year through Balangoda Plantations PLC.

An increase in the banking sector shareholding through a strategic investment in Sampath Bank was carried out in 1999. However, this was later divested in July 2010. Also in 1999, Aitken Spence PLC, a highly respected and diversified Sri Lankan blue-chip conglomerate, became an associate of DCSL and a part of the Group.

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2000-2005

The New Era

2000-2005

2001 witnessed the Group’s entry into the textile industry through Texpro Industries. The following year two 20MW thermal power generation plants in Matara and Horana were fully operational. The acquisition of Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation (SLIC), the market leader, in 2003 was concluded. Consequently, this holding was vested with the Government in mid-2009.

The year 2005 also witnessed the expansion into the health care sector through SLIC’s acquisition of Lanka Hospitals Ltd. This stake too was subsequently vested with the Sri Lankan Government in early 2005.

The Group’s expansion into the telecommunication industry was marked by the procuring of Lanka Bell Limited in 2005. Expansion continued apace during the year with the introduction of collision repair services and the inauguration of the 100 MW Embilipitiya power plant.

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2006-To date

The Power of Progress

2006-To date

Strategic investments during 2006 included acquiring the leader in asset management, National Asset Management Ltd. (divested in February 2011), and the entry into the media and communication industry through Splendor Media.

2007 witnessed Periceyl (Pvt) Ltd, becoming a fully-owned subsidiary of DCSL and the following year the Group expanded into the software solutions industry through Bellvantage. In 2008, Lanka Bell created telecommunications history accomplishing several revolutionary milestones in Sri Lanka, including the landmark purchase of the first fibre optic cable.

Continental Insurance, the Group’s modern insurance arm, and Melstacorp, its powerful investment arm, were both established in 2010. Expansion into the hotel sector through a significant share acquisition in Browns Beach Hotel was witnessed in 2011. The Group’s continued interest in renewable energy saw the successful commissioning of Bogo Power’s mini hydropower plant in Bogawantalawa.

Today, the Stassen Group, the country’s iconic conglomerate, is poised for consolidation and progress through its extensive network of pioneering and trailblazing businesses.