CHOCOCAM manufactures cocoa-based consumer products in its factory in Douala (Cameroon) and sells these products in CAMEROON, NIGERIA and other countries of Central and West Africa. Chococam has annual sales of approximately E28 million (Euros) and employs about 300 people. Tiger Brands will take over the entire business, including all employees. For South Africa’s Tiger Brands, a food and healthcare company with about €1.6 bn in annual sales, the acquisition expands the firm’s presence in Africa.
While the price tag for Cameroon-based Chococam remains undisclosed, the deal sees Tiger Brands acquiring a 74.7 per cent slice of the shares, while the remaining 25.3 per cent will stay with small private shareholders.
The divestment of Chococam, with annual sales of about €28 million, follows the disposal of other consumer businesses in Senegal and Ivory Coast by Barry Callebaut, the world’s number one maker of bulk chocolate, to focus on contract manufacturing and producing ingredients such as cocoa butter.
But while shaking off the consumer products end, Barry Callebaut will still remain in Cameroon via their subsidiary SIC CACAOS. According to a recent Dow Jones commodities report that cites figures from the National Cocoa and Coffee Board, the Cameroon subsidiary of Barry Callebaut bought 20,293 metric tons of cocoa beans for processing in August-June of the 2007-08 season (August-July).
In my opinion, it remains to be seen whether Tiger Brands would opt to keep all employees. The parent company Barry Callebaut had the ability to transfer or interchange employees between their two subsidiaries CHOCOCAM and SIC CACAOS when necessary, Tiger Brands would not be able to do that. We’ll see how this turns out