Tiger Brands, South Africa’s leading branded food and healthcare company, has announced its intention to acquire 74.7% of the shares of consumer chocolate manufacturer Chococam in Cameroon from Barry Callebaut, the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality cocoa and chocolate products. The remaining 25.3% of the shares are held by a number of small private shareholders.
Founded in 1967, Chococam manufactures cocoa-based consumer products in its factory in Douala and sells these highly popular products in Cameroon, Nigeria and other countries of Central and West Africa. Chococam has annual sales of approximately CFA 18 billion (€ 28 million/CHF 45 million) and employs about 300 people. Tiger Brands will take over the entire business, including all employees.
Peter Matlare, CEO of Tiger Brands, said: “Chococam is a quality acquisition with high market shares in categories that are familiar to Tiger Brands. This acquisition gives impetus to our strategy to expand our African footprint. We are delighted that we will have a presence in Cameroon as there is enormous growth potential in this market.”
Patrick De Maeseneire, CEO of Barry Callebaut, said: “Our Group has been present in Cameroon since 1952. We will remain present in Cameroon through our subsidiary SIC Cacaos in which we have just made important investments. Our strategic focus in Africa is on cocoa bean sourcing and cocoa processing and not on consumer chocolate. That is why we have decided to also divest the last one of our consumer activities, after having sold our consumer businesses in Senegal and Ivory Coast before. We are very pleased that we have found an optimal new owner for Chococam in Tiger Brands that, based on its strategy and experience, will be able to further develop the Chococam business and to secure a great future for our Chococam colleagues.”
The transaction is expected to close on July 31, 2008. The two parties have agreed not to disclose any financial details of the transaction.