FrieslandCampina increases stake in Nigerian subsidiary to 67.6%

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Royal FrieslandCampina on Thursday announced that it had increased its equity stake in its Nigerian subsidiary, FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc, from 54.58 per cent to 67.61 per cent.

To increase the stake, the Netherlands-based company said it acquired 13.03 per cent of the subsidiary’s shares for approximately €180m (N40.256bn).

A statement announcing the deal quoted the Chief Executive Officer, Royal FrieslandCampina, Mr. Roelof Joosten, as saying, “The size of the market, the growth outlook and the commitment of the Nigerian people to bolstering the stability and economy of the country are the reasons why FrieslandCampina will continue to invest in its subsidiary FrieslandCampina WAMCO.”

Under the terms of the transaction, which was executed on the NASD OTC trading platform, FrieslandCampina acquired 127,184,030 ordinary shares in FrieslandCampina WAMCO at N315.67 per share, the statement said.

It added that the Securities and Exchange Commission had been informed of the transaction.

The NASD Plc, a SEC-licenced self-regulatory organisation, which operates the NASD over-the-counter market for unlisted securities, said the FrieslandCampina WAMCO transaction was its largest single trade since the platform opened in July 2013.

The Head, Operations, NASD, Mr. Gbubemi Iyomere, said the significant transaction highlighted the increasing confidence in the services NASD OTC was providing.

“We expect more asset managers and pension fund administrators to invest their funds through the transparent trading platform,” Iyomere was quoted as saying in an emailed statement by the NASD.

FrieslandCampina WAMCO has been a key player in Nigeria since 1954.

According to the statement, the Nigerian Peak brand is one of the key brands in FrieslandCampina’s portfolio and enjoys iconic status in Nigeria.

FrieslandCampinaWAMCO Nigeria produces, packages, markets and distributes a large variety of dairy products and is a major force in fast-moving consumer goods in Nigeria.

Besides Peak, its leading brands are Three Crowns and Friso.

The statement stressed that with the transaction “FrieslandCampina demonstrates its commitment to Nigeria and to its dairy market.”

FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria had announced a turnover of N126.44bn for the 2014 financial year, five per cent higher than the N120.26bn it reported for 2013.

At its Annual General Meeting in May, its shareholders approved a final dividend of N4.33 per ordinary share of 50 kobo each to the shareholders, which was approved by the shareholders.

Having paid an interim dividend of N3.91 per share in November 2014, the company’s total dividend for the year stood at N8.24 per share.

The Managing Director, FrieslandCampina WAMCO, Mr. Rahul Colaco, later told journalists that the company had fully upgraded its facilities to world-class standards, while also addressing environmental sustainability through such things as the use of gas instead of diesel for its plants.

Colaco, who said the company had maintained its lead in the dairy industry with its various initiatives, stressed that the company remained guided by its “inspiring mission of nourishing Nigeria with quality dairy nutrition”. Source: Punch


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