Our Timeline

1890

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.

1921

HL Hall & Sons Ltd registered as a company.

1928

Tomango Squash set up in separate company (it later moves to Durban and becomes Dickon Hall Products).

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.

1943

Purchase of Ermelo Ranch, Gravelotte (which later becomes part of the Selati Game Reserve).

1947

King George and Queen Elizabeth visit Halls at Mataffin Farm - one of the largest citrus estates in the Commonwealth.

1940s to 1960s

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.

1962

Under threat of expropriation, many Bushveld farms are sold to government. Halls enters the timber industry.

1968

Halls citrus exports exceed one million cartons.

1979

Cyril Clarke High School opens at Mataffin (first black high school in South Africa on private land)

1984

Halls establishes HL Hall International Ltd in the UK. Halls Projects (later to become Halls Properties) commences with development of Rocky Drift Industrial Township.

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.

1990

HL Hall & Sons celebrates the centenary at Mataffin. Halls Projects develops “Halls Gateway to the Lowveld”.

1992

Halls stops farming citrus and focuses on avocados.

1993

Formation of the Selati Game Reserve.

1994

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.

2001

Halls exits the timber industry.

2003

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.

2004

Halls Investments established on the back of the mandate given by the Halls Holdings’ shareholders at the 2004 AGM.

2005

Halls Investments acquires shares in Animalia and Warburton (Multimin). Halls Projects changes its name to Halls Properties.

2006

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 originator) 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.

2007

Halls Properties commences the development of Riverside Park phase 2. HG&H acquires the Sceletium patent for human applications (forming the basis of Zembrin). Brighthead makes its first investment into AllLife (focused on life insurance for HIV positive individuals) and Bridgehead (a student accommodation business). Halls Investments acquires first shares in Deltamune.

2009

Halls and the Makgoba Trust form the Makgoba Halls Farming Company.

2010

Halls establishes a marketing office in Rungis, France in heart of fresh produce market. Halls acquires Halls Limpopo Packers in Tzaneen, South Africa.

2010

Comcorp adds the bank statement exchange to its mortgage switch business.

2011

Animalia concludes sales of its South African Multimin business Lightstone acquires shares in RGT Smart and creates a start up in the auto space (later known as Lightstone Auto)

2012

HG&H makes first sales of Zembrin into South Africa and US. Halls establishes a marketing office in Marseille, France. Warburton concludes sale of Multimin subsidiary in Australia and New Zealand.

2013

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.

2014

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.

2015

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.

2016

AllLife signs a deal to expand operations into the UK. 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 general insurance operations in the group.

2017

Halls acquires packing and ripening facilities in Marseille, France

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