Pioneer Foods to acquire full ownership of Heinz Foods South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA – Leading South African food group, Pioneer Foods has that announced it will acquire the outstanding 50.1% in the joint venture with a subsidiary of the Kraft Heinz Company in the country.

The company will take the portion of Heinz SA Proprietary Ltd that it did not already own, with the tomato ketchup maker becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of Pioneer Foods.

The amount spent by Pioneer to acquire the stake has not been disclosed by the parties.

“By acquiring full ownership of Heinz Foods SA, we look forward to the further growth and development of the portfolio that includes a range of number one or two brands in their respective categories,” said Pioneer Foods’ CEO, Tertius Carstens.

However, the two parties will continue with their relationship at close of the transaction, with Pioneer Foods entering into a two-year agreement with Kraft Heinz to manufacture and distribute Heinz tomato ketchup products.

Pioneer Foods will also distribute HP & Lea Perrins products and certain other Kraft Heinz products, says the company in a statement.

“We will continue to work with Kraft Heinz to support the expansion of the Kraft Heinz brands in South Africa,” said Carstens.

“We believe this change is an excellent opportunity for the business and our employees to leverage Pioneer Foods’ existing scale and platform in South Africa to grow the business further,” says Felipe Guimarães, Managing Director of Kraft Heinz Middle East and Africa.

The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, pending regulatory approval.

Pioneer Foods is one of the largest South African food and beverage manufacturers publicly listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.

The company is the producer of well-known brands such as Sako bread products, Weet-Bix breakfast cereals, Ceres fruit juice and White Star maize meal.

The company this year also closed the acquisition of a 49.89% stake in Weetabix East Africa, a regional producer of breakfast cereals, in partnership with Weetabix UK, which owns the rest of the shareholding in the company.

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