HL and Grace Hall settle and start farming at Riverside Farm (name changes to Mataffin Farm in 1923).
1890 to 1920
Overcoming many obstacles and setbacks a successful farming business is established at Mataffin.
HL Hall & Sons Ltd registered as a company.
1921 to 1945
Farming operations thrive. Halls becomes household name throughout South Africa on back of COD mail-order fresh produce business. Resultant wealth deployed in acquisition of land.
Tomango Squash set up in separate company (it later moves to Durban and becomes Dickon Hall Products).
1940 to 1960
Employment at Halls runs between 2,000 and 3,000 people depending on seasonal requirements.
Halls gains a reputation for contributing substantially to the welfare of its employees through housing, schools and clinics, which persists until today.
Purchase of Ermelo Ranch, Gravelotte (which later becomes part of the Selati Game Reserve).
King George and Queen Elizabeth visit Halls at Mataffin Farm – one of the largest citrus estates in the Commonwealth.
1960 to 1990
Halls navigates a difficult period: profitability of farming is undermined by inflation; Halls’ main business – citrus – is compromised by greening disease; political uncertainty and unrest escalates; business diversification does not result in successful scalable business outcomes.
Under threat of expropriation, many Bushveld farms are sold to government. Halls enters the timber industry.
Halls citrus exports exceed one million cartons.
Cyril Clarke High School opens at Mataffin (first black high school in South Africa on private land).
Halls establishes HL Hall International Ltd in the UK. Halls Projects (later to become Halls Properties) commences with development of Rocky Drift Industrial Township.
HL Hall & Sons celebrates the centenary at Mataffin. Halls Projects develops “Halls Gateway to the Lowveld”.
Halls stops farming citrus and focuses on avocados.
Formation of the Selati Game Reserve.
Halls first to market with ripe and ready fruit into the UK. Nelspruit is named capital of Mpumalanga and HL Hall & Sons donates land for the new Provincial Offices and Legislature. Proclamation of Riverside Park phase 1, renewing the focus in property development for the business.
Halls exits the timber industry.
Halls concludes the largest land reform deal in South Africa with the sale of 6,000 ha to government for establishment of the Matsafeni Trust.
Halls Investments established on the back of the mandate given by the Halls Holdings’ shareholders at the 2004 AGM.
Halls Investments acquires shares in Animalia and Warburton (Multimin). Halls Projects changes its name to Halls Properties.
Halls Investments provides seed capital for the start-up, Lightstone, which goes on to secure its first major contract. Halls Investments invests into Comcorp (a mortgage application switch) and Brighthead (a joint venture investment vehicle together with the Wessels family). Halls Investments invests in HG&H Pharmaceuticals and research commences on Sceletium for veterinary applications.
Halls establishes a marketing office in Rungis, France in the heart of the Paris fresh produce market. Halls acquires Halls Limpopo Packers in Tzaneen, South Africa.
Animalia concludes the sale of its South African Multimin business. Lightstone acquires shares in RGT Smart and creates a combined business in the auto space (later known as Lightstone Auto).
HG&H makes the first sales of Zembrin into South Africa and US. Halls establishes a marketing office in Marseille, France. Warburton concludes sale of its Multimin subsidiary in Australia and New Zealand.
Creation of Halls Technologies (subsequently renamed Lightstone Group) including Lightstone, Signio and RGT. RGT delisted from the AltX. Halls acquires packing and ripening facilities in Rungis, France.
Halls Investments acquires 100% interest in Deltamune. Halls establishes operations in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Acquisition of Wheels Web Group by Lightstone.
2014 to 2015
Halls significantly expands their fresh produce operations in Rungis, France with the development of state-of-the-art packing and ripening facilities.
HL Hall & Sons celebrates rare milestone of 125 years at Mataffin. HL Hall & Sons launches new brand identity to coincide with the 125-year anniversary. Halls Properties obtains township approvals for Riverside Park phase 3.
Halls exports over 1.6m cartons of avocados from South Africa into Europe and markets 4.7m cartons of avocados in the European market. Halls Investments creates Halls Financial Services into which it consolidates the various short-term insurance operations in the group.
Halls acquires packing and ripening facilities in Marseille, France
Halls Investments invests in Step Advisory, a management consulting firm focussed on helping business leaders grow their businesses.
Halls Fresh Produce opens commercial offices in Madrid and Frankfurt and commercial offices in Chongqing, China. Halls disposes of its interests in Warburton Technology and Deltamune.
HL Hall & Sons Holdings registers Nector Holdings BV in the Netherlands as the entity through which to develop technology based solutions for the food value chain.
Coaxle acquired the entire share capital of Castle One with effect from 1 March 2021. Castle One is a proptech innovation business and is the holding company of Prop Data and reOS. Prop Data is a real estate agent enablement platform providing an integrated range of services to assist real estate agents to run their businesses more effectively. reOS provides a platform for the management of property rentals to landlords and rental managers using blockchain technology.
The introduction of a BEE shareholder and creation of the Coaxle group, bringing Lightstone, HFS and Step under a single umbrella together with Ince.
Nector acquires a 51% share in Agranimo, a European-based micro-climate intelligence start-up. Agranimo helps farmers understand and manage the impact of climate on fruit production using affordable, durable, in-field technology and scalable software.
Nector acquires a 20% share in WDD, a Dutch based Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) start-up business that uses data driven models to understand short-term supply and demand, and predict price movements in the fresh produce market.