BrandArena: Pioneer goes into food partnership in Nigeria

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Pioneer goes into food partnership in Nigeria

Pioneer Foods, the maker of ProNutro and Weet-Bix breakfast cereal, on Tuesday announced its first major foray into Nigeria.

In what is deemed as a low-risk, route-to-market opportunity to expand its basket, Pioneer will pay $7m as it invests in a majority stake of newly formed company Food Concepts Pioneer (FCPL), with Lagos-based partner Food Concepts plc.

In a statement released by the company, Pioneer Foods CEO, Phil Roux said Nigeria was a key market for any food company in search of growth.

On his part, Deji Akinyanju chairman of Food Concepts Plc said the partnership will benefit from the combination of the respective strengths which will be used to tap into the vast opportunities in the Nigerian FMCG sector to deliver extraordinary value to customers

Food Concepts was founded by Akinyanju, an entrepreneur, in 2001. The company, whose shareholders include International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank member, and Development Partners International (DPI), a UK based private equity firm focused on African investments, continues to evolve in a remarkable story of a revolution in the Nigerian food sector, the statement affirmed.

The company recently demerged its Baked Goods Division into Food Concepts Pioneer Limited (FCPL). Pioneer Foods acquired 50.01% of FCPL while Food Concepts Plc retains 49.9%. FCPL will house Butterfield Bakeries, a baked goods business specializing in bread and sausage roll production. This will allow Pioneer Foods to leverage existing infrastructure and brand recognition — both crucial elements of consumer packaged-goods companies. Pioneer Foods will implement several operational changes to the Butterfield bakery to increase its efficiency and consistency.

FCPL is a leading South African FMCG company with a market cap of $3bn, it has globally trusted brands like Ceres Juice, ProNutro, Weet-Bix breakfast cereal etc. It has bakery operations in the capital Abuja, Ibadan, Lagos and Benin City. Following the investment by Pioneer, operations will be scaled up.

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