Coca-Cola takes stake in Chi

by Eric Schroeder
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Chi Ltd. has market leadership positions in fruit juices, iced tea, value-added dairy products and snacks in Nigeria.

LAGOS, NIGERIA — The Coca-Cola Co. has reached an agreement with Tropical General Investments Group (TGI Group), the holding company of Chi Ltd., a Nigerian dairy and juice company. As part of the agreement, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola will acquire an initial 40% minority equity shareholding in Chi Ltd. with the opportunity to increase ownership to 100% within three years, subject to regulatory approvals, while working on other long-term commercial structures.

The agreement creates a strategic relationship between two beverage industry leaders within Africa’s largest economy that together serve sparkling soft drinks, juices, value-added dairy and water beverage brands. Incorporated in 1980, Chi Ltd. has market leadership positions in fruit juices, iced tea, value-added dairy products and snacks in Nigeria. The company’s brands include Chivita 100%, Chivita Active, Chi Exotic, Chi Happy hour, Chi Ice Tea, Capri-Sonne, Hollandia, Chi Super Bite and Beefie.

The partnership is expected to help Chi Ltd. achieve its ambitious growth plans through access to Coca-Cola’s broad product portfolio and integration into global best practices in production, distribution and brand-building.

Nathan Kalumbu, Coca-Cola
Nathan Kalumbu, president, Coca-Cola Eurasia and Africa

“For more than 30 years Chi’s leadership has built a greatly admired business that has quickly grown to become Nigeria’s leading producer and distributor of value-added dairy and juice products, and we are delighted to enter the next phase of our growth journey together,” said Nathan Kalumbu, president, Coca-Cola Eurasia and Africa. “Coca-Cola and Chi share the same commitment to Africa, to investing in our operations and to continuous innovation, and our relationship will allow us to continue to provide Nigerian consumers the No. 1 beverage in each of the categories we serve.”

Cornelis Vink, chairman of TGI Group and Chi Ltd., added, “We strongly believe in this journey we are starting with The Coca-Cola Co. The relationship will allow us to expand our regional footprint and product portfolio. We stay firmly committed to growing our investments in the Nigerian economy, increasing employment and local content while supporting the communities we operate in. Chi will continue to provide its consumers with innovative products in the dairy, juices and snacks categories.”

In 2014, the Coca-Cola system announced an increased investment in Africa to a total of $17 billion from 2010 to 2020. This investment, which is roughly three times the amount invested in the last decade, is funding new manufacturing lines, distribution capabilities and cold drink equipment while creating additional jobs and opportunities on the continent.

Coca-Cola was first served in Johannesburg in 1928, and the company’s products are now present in every country in Africa with its system employing more than 70,000 people in 145 bottling and canning facilities.
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