Suntory Beverage & Food offloads Nigerian unit to Africa FMCG Distribution Ltd for US$14m

NIGERIA – Suntory Beverage & Food Limited (SBF) has announced that Suntory Beverage & Food Limited Asia Pte (SBFA), maker of Ribena and Lucozade, has agreed to sell its Nigerian subsidiary, Suntory Beverage & Food Nigeria (SBFN), to Africa FMCG Distribution Ltd (AFDL) for a total consideration of US$14 million.

The transaction expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2022, subject to regulatory approval, will entail the transfer all the shares of the non-alcoholic beverage maker to AFDL and the loan receivables held by SBFA against SBFN.

In addition, SBFA has agreed with AFDL on a license agreement for the exclusive right to manufacture and distribute SBF brands, Lucozade and Ribena, in Nigeria.

CEO of SBF, Kazuhiro Saito, said, “As part of our regular strategic portfolio review and considering the broad options in Nigeria to accelerate the growth of our brands, we have decided that it is best to launch a new operating model in Nigeria, leveraging the extensive distribution network, and the expertise in the local market that AFDL possesses.”

The new owner, AFDL is a subsidiary of Chanrai Summit Group, a multi-faceted company distributing products and is expected to expand the business by leveraging on its robust supply chain management infrastructure.

The company focuses on import, manufacture and distribution of products covering branded Food, Fast Moving Consumer Goods, and Appliances for leading multi-nationals across the globe.

Sherring Thekekkara, the CEO of AFDL said, “Leveraging experience, streamlining supply chain, enhancing manufacturing, consistent innovation and improving seamless route to market etc will ensure that the Nigerian consumer continues to enjoy their favourite brands “Lucozade” and “Ribena” even more passionately.”

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Managing Director of SBFN, Anjan Patole, added that, “The sale of our beverage operations in Nigeria signifies a fantastic opportunity to leverage on Chanrai’s Group expertise to expand the business and talents of our people beyond our current potential.

“Their extensive global systems, agility to changing market needs with a focus on African consumers are all qualities that aligned with that of our business here.”

Japanese firm, SBF became the brand owner of Ribena and Lucozade in 2016 after it partially acquired the brand from GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc (GSK).

The brand was completely sold out to SBF after the GSK’s Board approved the binding offer to sell its drinks bottling and distribution business.

At the global front, SBF sold its Australian coffee business to UCC Coffee subsidiary, UCC ANZ Management for A$229 million (US$165m).

The business operating under the name Suntory Coffee Australia Limited (SCA) is one of the largest groups of coffee roasters in Australia and New Zealand.

It is comprised of major brands including Toby’s Estate, which also has operations in Singapore, as well as New Zealand-based Caffe L’Affare, Atomic Coffee Roasters, Bruno Rossi and Robert Harris. 

SCA also controls Australian coffee equipment, spare parts and service provider, Espresso Mechanics.

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