Premier Foods expands into Swaziland

first_img“Following our transaction with Brait last year, we are now in a position to carry-out our strategy to actively participate in new sub-Saharan markets where we can acquire and grow assets aligned with our existing products and operations,” said Visser. In addition to gaining ownership of leading Swazi bread brand Supreme, Premier Foods also intends to introduce the Blue Ribbon brand, which is the company’s biggest bread brand in South Africa. Levendale added that it was pleasing to see that Swaziland’s economic woes did not deter essential foreign direct investment that supports Swazi ownership. The acquisition will give Premier Foods – which is known for brands such as Iwisa maize meal, Snowflake flour and Blue Ribbon bread – a major foothold in the market, as the two businesses it is buying command a 75% share of Swaziland’s bread market when combined. “These acquisitions fit perfectly with our investment criteria and we look forward to working closely with the management team to develop high quality but affordable products for the Swazi market,” Premier Foods group CEO Ian Visser said in a statement this week. Levendale said that the investment would bring several benefits including much-needed access to expertise in terms of improved technology, product quality and transfer of skills. 22 February 2012 South African staple foods manufacturer Premier Foods has acquired a controlling stake in two Swaziland-based bread and confectionary businesses, Mr Bread and Swaziland United Bakeries, for R85-million. This resulted in Premier Foods gaining improved access to capital for investments focused on the development of new products, capacity expansions and strategic mergers & acquisitions in new sub-Saharan markets.center_img Active sub-Saharan expansion Transfer of technology, skills Premier Foods will support the businesses technically and strategically to strengthen their market position. Wayne Levendale, currently MD of Mr Bread, will become CEO of the joint operations and will retain a major shareholding together with other key members of staff. “As a result, consumers can expect a better service through an improved delivery network and the introduction of new product ranges including high-end confectionary products at affordable prices,” he explained. In July last year, international investment group Brait increased its stake in Premier Foods to become a long-term strategic shareholder with a view to support Premier Foods’ next phase of growth. Premier Foods has been operating, in one form or another, since 1852 and currently operates 10 bakeries, five wheat mills, one maize mill and 16 distribution depots nationwide, employing over 5 000 people in manufacturing, distribution and marketing operations. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img