On Tuesday, 28 March 2017, it was reported that 8 Miles, a private equity firm owned by British singer Bob Geldof has finally acquired minority stakes in Nigerian biscuit company, Beloxxi industries limited. This deal worth $80 million will boost the ability of Beloxxi to increase its production and expand its export base into neighbouring francophone West Africa.

This deal was first announced in August 2016 when it was reported that a consortium of the German Investment and Development Company (DEG), a subsidiary of KfW and Bob Geldof’s 8 Miles fund would be acquiring the stakes. According to DEG, it will be contributing $10 million of the investment while the $70 million left will be coming from 8 Miles and the Africa Capital Alliance. DEG also said that German Plant Engineering will support expanded production including the installation of four additional production lines at Beloxxi. The expansion is set to create 300 jobs in addition to the existing 2,000 already employed.

Currently, Nigeria’s biscuit sector is growing at an annual rate of 10 to 15 percent and it is driven by the population growth, rising disposable incomes, and increasing urbanisation, along with the growing popularity of biscuits as a convenient snack.

Last year, Fast Moving Consumable Goods (FMCG) companies, including Beloxxi, were forced to increase the prices of their products, and this was largely due to the increasing inflation which rose by more than 16 percent, hitting consumers at a difficult time. A three-biscuit Beloxxi pack of 21 grams, which was sold for 10 naira last year, is now being sold for 15 naira.

What you didn’t know about Nigeria’s biscuit market

  • Almost 50 percent of biscuits in the Nigerian markets are made in Nigeria.
  • The Yale brand is said to own about 38 percent market share.
  • Local manufacturers of biscuits are said to own about 50 percent of the market share with the rest going to biscuit importers.
  • There are about sixteen biscuit companies operating in Nigeria.
  • Biscuit consumption in Nigeria is estimated to be between 450,000 to 500,000 million tonnes annually.

8 Miles also made an investment for a minority stake in the UK and Ghana-based leader in the production of fresh-cut tropical fruit and juices, Blue Skies. According to reports, Blue Skies holds a leading position in shelf-ready fresh-cut fruit and freshly squeezed juice products in European supermarkets and also has operations in several African countries. Blue Skies employs more than 4,000 people in its operations in Ghana, South Africa, Egypt, Brazil and the UK. In 2016, the company made revenue of £89.6 million (€1.16 million; $1.26 million).

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