Commencement of business, in tea
Matthew Pennefather Evans, founding partner, starts business as UK merchant, importing tea from Ceylon.
Late 1880’s – 1900
Late 1880’s – 1900
Expansion of business
Partnership helps pioneers raise capital on London market for new tea plantations and acts as company secretary and UK selling agent for their produce. Matthew Pennefather Evans divides time between UK and Asia.
Introduction of rubber
1902: Matthew Pennefather Evans dies.
1905: New partnership formed, bearing M.P. Evans name. New rubber companies operating in Malaya and The Dutch East Indies added to client portfolio.
From Partnership to Company
1941–1943: Partnership dissolved. M.P. Evans & Co Limited formed. Initial shareholders are twelve of its client companies and its first five directors.
1947: Edwin Hadsley-Chaplin joins company, retiring over 50 years later. He plays a seminal role in developing the Group and protecting it from takeover.
The Hadsley-Chaplin/Fletcher family remains actively involved today.
M.P. Evans & Co Limited begins acquiring shares in its client companies which in turn own shares in M.P. Evans & Co Limited; early beginnings of ‘crossholding’ structure, which later becomes known as the ‘M.P. Evans grouping’.
1963: Indonesian government nationalises all foreign owned plantation land.
1968: Indonesian government grants ownership back – no longer on a freehold, but on a (30-year) leasehold basis. Appointment of SIPEF as managing agents for grouping’s Indonesian plantations.
A shift to oil palm
Exit from Sri Lankan tea following change in Sri Lankan government policy: Start of shift from rubber to oil palm in SE Asia as the superior financial rewards from oil palm become increasingly clear.
UK, Malaysian and Australian developments
1981: Rowe Evans Investments PLC (“REI”) formed following merger with companies under the Rowe White tea agency, which had previously merged with M.P. Evans & Co Limited. REI is listed on the London Stock Exchange.
M.P. Evans (Malaysia) Sdn. Berhad formed to manage grouping’s Malaysian estates.
Expansion into Australian agriculture to create geographical and commodity diversity within the Group; first sheep, wool and arable, then irrigated cotton and finally beef cattle.
Malaysian property development
Start of Malaysian property development after 2,000 hectares of the grouping’s Bertam Estate is sold into a joint venture with two Malaysian partners.
A new town is developed over the ensuing 30 years, with approximately 200 hectares still to be developed today.
2005 – 2016
2005 – 2016
Strategic initiative launched
2005: Grouping structure rationalised into single company: M.P. Evans Group PLC.
Strategic initiative to exit Malaysia by selling its small valuable estates for property development, using the proceeds to fund a major expansion of its sustainable plantation areas in Indonesia. Group joins Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (“RSPO”) shortly after its formation.
P.T. Evans (Indonesia) formed. K Chandra Sekaran joins Group. P.T. Evans (Indonesia) takes over management of all its Indonesian estates.
2016 – 2023
2016 – 2023
One country; one commodity
Disposal of investments in Australian beef cattle and share of oil-palm joint venture in Indonesia to move the Group towards its strategic objective of having operations in one country, in one commodity, in operations it controls; sustainable Indonesian palm oil.
Our Group today
Our Group today now owns 42,000 hectares of sustainable oil palm in Indonesia and manages 14,000 hectares on behalf of its scheme smallholders. It owns six palm-oil mills and employs over 11,500 staff. We aim to continue to grow, responsibly, sustainably and profitably.
Maps and locations
See where our plantations are located in Indonesia.
The Group demonstrates its commitment to sustainability through its membership of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (“RSPO”).
Why invest in M.P. Evans?
A gathering acceleration in crop growth underpins our commitment to pay attractive returns to investors through increasing dividends.