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Updated: FrieslandCampina WAMCO acquires Nutricima’s dairy business

Ben Langat

FrieslandCampina WAMCO on Tuesday completed the acquisition of Nutricima’s dairy business in Nigeria.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO acquired the company’s production facility in Ikorodu, Lagos State, and the brand’s Olympic, Coast and Nunu, a range of powdered, evaporated and ready-to-drink milk products. Market sources say these brands already have a good presence across the Nigerian dairy market already.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO says the acquisition underlines its continued commitment to contribute to the development of the Nigerian dairy sector.

“The acquisition satisfies the need for additional production capacity for FrieslandCampina WAMCO to meet the growing demand for locally produced evaporated and powdered milk by Nigerian consumers,” the company notes in the statement signed by Ore Famurewa, executive director, corporate affairs.

In March, FrieslandCampina and PZ Cussons signed an agreement regarding the acquisition. With this acquisition, Nutricima’s dairy business will be integrated into FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria plc. FrieslandCampina did not disclose how much the deal was worth.

According to Roel van Neerbos, president, FrieslandCampina Consumer Dairy, “FrieslandCampina WAMCO has been a key player in Nigeria since 1954. With this acquisition, we demonstrate our strong commitment to Nigeria and its dairy market.”

Ben Langat, managing director of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria, said, “It is our mission to bring affordable and attainable quality dairy products to all Nigerians and meet the growing demand. That’s why we are pleased with this acquisition.”

Over the last few years, FrieslandCampina WAMCO has invested significantly in capital expenditure, including a new warehouse and a world-class learning academy to build capabilities across functions and to drive talent development.

Recently, the company commissioned a state-of-the-art plant for local production of Peak Yoghurt, which is directly linked to its highly successful dairy development programme, a major investment that has been at the centre of Nigeria’s backward integration in local milk sourcing over the last decade with over 9,000 local farmers spread across five states in Nigeria.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO says it would continue to expand its portfolio, particularly through low unit price packs and by strengthening its distribution reach in the market.

“Having fulfilled all requirements including requisite shareholders and regulatory approvals, FrieslandCampina WAMCO has commenced operations at the newly acquired plant,” it further states.

Nutricima Limited was founded in Nigeria in 2005 and has earned itself consumer awareness within the dairy industry since then.

Analysts say the deal is a signal that Nigeria’s dairy industry is becoming increasingly attractive.

Euromonitor International said in a 2019 report that FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria dominated the condensed milk market in Nigeria in 2019, accounting for more than a half of overall value sales.

“This position can be attributed to the strength of its Peak brand of condensed milk, although it also offers the lower-priced Three Crowns brand,” Euromonitor International said.

There have been mergers and acquisitions in Nigeria’s manufacturing sector in recent times.

Coca-Cola, in 2018, acquired Chi Limited in a deal that has redefined the local drinks market.

Olam Nigeria also completed the acquisition of Dangote Flour in a N120 billion deal in 2019. In 2018, Dufil, Indomie noodles maker, acquired May& Baker in an N775 million deal in 2018, after buying the noodles segment of Dangote the previous year.