ENL's story begins in 1821 when Martial Henri René Noël, son of Breton immigrants who had settled on the island, started cultivating his first acres of sugarcane in Moka. Over time and generations, the ENL spirit of enterprise has grown tall and strong, nurtured by the thousands of fellow Mauritians who joined the ranks to build a well-diversified business group.
Today, ENL is the custodian of 23,000 acres of land that are strategically managed to create sustainable value. Our strategy for growth has remained virtually unchanged over time: we leverage our assets, especially our significant land assets, to create cash-generating businesses that participate in building up modern-day Mauritius. It is no coincidence therefore that ENL is a leading player in key sectors of the national economy.
ENL remains a family-run public company, currently managed by the fifth generation of Noëls. Quite naturally, our corporate culture is steeped in strong family values such as solidarity, hard work, authenticity and a deep-rooted sense of responsibility towards future generations.
Martial Henri René Noël buys 100 acres of agricultural land from his siblings and lays the foundation stone of the ENL group.
Six years later, he purchases an additional 220 acres and builds a sugar factory which he calls Mon Désert, given the relative isolation of the place.
The property, called Savannah, extends over 2000 acres and produces some 2300 tonnes of sugar. That same year, La Compagnie Sucrière de Mon Désert Ltd is incorporated to drive business in the Moka region. The incorporation of The Savannah Sugar Estate Company Ltd in 1913 further illustrates the growing sophistication in the conduct of business within the group.
Espitalier Noël Limited is incorporated as a holding company entrusted with the mission to rationalise administration of the two sugar estates, and to develop business in emerging sectors.
In 1947, Mon Désert Alma Ltd is incorporated following the centralisation of the Alma sugar mill on Mon Désert. At its peak, the company produces an average of 45 000 tonnes of sugar and employs 2000 workers.
The newly independent Mauritius calls established entrepreneurs to contribute to the development of the country.
Espitalier Noël Limited responds by creating General Investment & Development Company Ltd (GIDC) to spearhead the group’s initiatives in the non-sugar sector. Today, this cluster’s portfolio includes operations in automobile dealership, construction, timber and building materials as well as hotel supplies and eyewear manufacture.
The group participates in the creation of one of the first EPZ companies in Mauritius, namely Plastinax Austral Limitée.
ENL Commercial now holds 93% of this eyewear manufacturer and exporter.
Espitalier Noël Limited, the Savannah and Mon Désert Alma sugar companies and GIDC are among the first companies to be listed on the newly founded Stock Exchange of Mauritius.
Espitalier Noel Investment Trust Limited (ENIT) is incorporated to manage a portfolio of shares held in blue chip companies.
Now known as ENL Investment, the company holds shares in Rogers and Co Ltd, the Food and Allied Group and New Mauritius Hotels.
Espitalier Noël Ltd is entrusted with the management of Bel Ombre Sugar Company Ltd. The company closes its sugar mill and gives a tourism and leisure orientation to its activities.
The Domaine de Bel Ombre is thus founded and the once remote South West of the island is opened to the outside world with the launching of Villas Valriche golf and lifestyle estate in 2008.
Espitalier Noël Limited, which has by now grown into a business group with one of the strongest asset bases in the island, rethinks its land use strategy and opts for property development to increase financial yields of its assets.
ENL Property, a new business cluster, is created to drive this new line of business. A number of major residential, commercial and office facilities projects are developed in Moka, Helvétia, St Pierre. La Balise Marina IRS and the Bagatelle integrated development are launched.
In addition, Mon Désert Alma sugar mill ceases operations. The Group also withdraws from Marromeu sugar estate in Mozambique, an unsuccessful venture started 5 years earlier with other Mauritian investors.
The Savannah Sugar Estates Ltd and Mon Désert Alma Limited merge following the disposal of their interests in sugar milling operations and energy production.
Now named ENL Land Ltd, the merged entity owns a land bank of some 16 000 acres situated in the southern and central parts of Mauritius and dedicated mostly to sugar cane cultivation and property development.
Following a rebranding exercise, ENL unveils a rationalised group structure composed of clusters with a clear focus on their core business.
Espitalier Noël Limited becomes ENL Limited; ENL Commercial regroups the activities formerly under GIDC; ENIT is rebranded ENL Investment; ENL Agribusiness is created to manage the group's agro-industrial activities, while ENL Property takes leadership of the development, marketing and sales of real estate projects.
The Bagatelle Mall of Mauritius starts operations, exactly one year after the Prime Minister officially inaugurated the construction site. The mall is a success overnight.
ENL acquires the franchise for the South African brand Ocean Basket and opens the first restaurant in Bagatelle, which is an immediate success. Voilà Bagatelle hotel is also inaugurated with an innovative concept and offering. This new business segment is named ENL Lifestyle.
ENL Investment becomes the new holding company of Rogers and Co Ltd following a major restructuring of the latter.
The restructured Rogers has interests in agriculture and property development, travel and tourism as well as in logistic services and finance.
ENL Commercial has two new subsidiaries: Nabridas and Box Manufacturing.
ENL Investment’s subsidiary, Ascencia, a property fund, acquires ENL Property’s 50.1% shares in Bagatelle Mall of Mauritius as well as its 100% stakes in the Kendra and Les Allées d’Hevétia commercial centres. In consideration, ENL Property receives 32.7% of the share capital of Ascencia.