Bakerite

Willowton Group & Louis Dreyfus Company Africa anticipate economic boost with maize milling merger approvals.

Pietermaritzburg, 13 December 2017. On November 30th, the South African Competition Tribunal approved the acquisition of two maize milling companies by a consortium comprising DH Brothers Industries (Pty) Limited trading as Willowton Group (Willowton) and Louis Dreyfus Company Africa (Pty) Ltd (LDC Africa) (Consortium). This welcome decision overrules an earlier Competition Commission recommendation not to allow the merger to proceed

Pietermaritzburg, 13 December 2017. On November 30th, the South African Competition Tribunal approved the acquisition of two maize milling companies by a consortium comprising DH Brothers Industries (Pty) Limited trading as Willowton Group (Willowton) and Louis Dreyfus Company Africa (Pty) Ltd (LDC Africa) (Consortium). This welcome decision overrules an earlier Competition Commission recommendation not to allow the merger to proceed

The two maize mills in question are Progress Milling, which is located in Polokwane, Limpopo and Noordfed, which is situated in Lichtenburg, North West. The acquisition of Progress Milling seeks to bring that 80-year old business out of business rescue proceedings, which it has been subject to since early March 2016. The Consortium is looking to implement both acquisitions as soon as possible.

The mergers will alleviate the financial difficulties experienced by Progress Milling and Noordfed, which could have resulted in the loss of more than 400 jobs in the event of a closure.

More than 14,000 subsistence farmers in Limpopo hold claims against Progress Milling valued at an aggregate of R18.4m for maize meal deliverables. The acquisition of Progress Milling involves the recovery in full of those claims, which would have been largely irrecoverable in the event of the mill’s failure. Progress Milling will continue its maize-intake programme with these farmers, whose stable food source consists of maize meal.

Pietermaritzburg-based Willowton Group is South Africa’s largest sunflower seed crusher and one of the leading companies in the country’s fast-moving consumer goods’ (FMCG) industry. Renowned for its quality products and support to the local community, Willowton Group anticipates exciting new opportunities as a result of the merger.

“We look forward to realising the potential that the successful merger of these businesses will bring to our business and brands,” said Mahomed Zubeir Moosa, Chief Executive Officer for Willowton Group. “It is a natural progression to extend into these categories and with it will bring the opportunity for further innovation and brand extensions. The merger will also bolster our product offering for exports and positively contribute towards local economic growth. As one of South Africa’s leading fast-moving FMCG businesses, we are passionate about job creation and skills development. We also remain committed to our vision, which is to be at the forefront of innovation in the FMCG industry and to provide consumers with products that will make a difference to their everyday lives. All this will be achieved while maintaining our ethos of social upliftment.”

LDC Africa is wholly-owned by the Louis Dreyfus Company group (LDC), a global merchant and processor of agricultural goods. LDC has been present in South Africa since 1925, originating, processing and distributing white maize, wheat, rice, edible oils, oilseeds (sunflower and soya). This merger is a substantial addition to LDC’s existing asset base in the country, which already includes participation in a sunflower seeds crushing plant, a rice packing plant and wheat mills.

Commenting on the merger approval, Thomas Couteaudier, Africa Head, said: “For LDC Africa this investment is a step further into downstream value-adding activity. We are especially pleased that the merger will help sustain the livelihoods of many, including employees and small-scale farmers around Polokwane who will be allowed to bring maize and draw maize meal from Progress again.”


About Willowton Group
Willowton Group has been in operation since 1970 and has grown to become one of Africa’s leading edible oil processors, as well as one of the leading competitors in the South African FMCG market.
The group operates across South Africa with manufacturing facilities in Pietermaritzburg, Johannesburg and Cape Town. Willowton Group has recently completed expanding its manufacturing operations into Zambia and Zimbabwe, with aspirations to further extend its reach to customers throughout Africa.
A wide range of products encompasses edible oils, rice, sugar, margarines and spreads, beauty, toilet and laundry soaps, candles, chocolate, baking and industrial fats, often distributed through its subsidiary Willowton Logistics. The Group has recently announced expansion plans to enter the maize and wheat milling industry within Southern Africa. Well-known brands include, among others, Sunfoil, Sunshine D, D’lite, Crown, Woodenspoon and Allsome rice.
By combining flexibility and vision with a sound business approach, the company is set to strengthen its position in the FMCG market even further, now and into the future.

Source – Shirley Williams Communications

 

Trackback from your site.

Leave a comment

Newsletter Subscribe

Please sign up to our monthly newsletter and have the latest news, developments and innovations conveniently delivered to your inbox.

BakerSA

With our vast experience in the Baking, Milling and Snack industries with both printed and electronic media , we will continue to supply the industry with the latest news, developments and innovations from South Africa and the World, as well as offer a platform from which to showcase your Company, Brand , Product or Service.