Bokomo acquires sugar packaging business Tongaat Hulett to reduce its debt

NAMIBIA Bokomo Namibia, manufacturer and distributor of quality foods, has confirmed the acquisition of the sugar packaging and distribution business of Tongaat Hulett Namibia (THN), following approval by the Namibian Competition Commission.

THN has been described as a strong and well-established business and the merger sees its market-leading brand, Marathon Sugar, join several well-known household brand names manufactured or distributed by Bokomo Namibia, including Bokomo wheat flour and maize meal, Weet-bix cereal, Moirs, Liqui-Fruit, Ceres, Fruitree, Caribbean, Safari dried fruit and nuts, John West and Wellington’s tomato sauce.

“We now have significant scale, which allows us to compete more effectively and, thus, enables us to provide a large range of complimentary food and beverage products to our valued customers and consumers across Namibia,” Bokomo Namibia CEO Hubertus Hamm explained that the merger will benefit consumers.

Bokomo Namibia is a joint venture between the Frans Indongo Group and Pioneer Foods, a large South African-based food, and beverage company. In March 2020, Nasdaq-listed PepsiCo Inc finalised its takeover of Pioneer Foods, an important step in its Africa-expansion plans.

Tongaat Hulett Namibia is a joint venture between Tongaat Hulett South Africa and the Frans Indongo Group. 

“Serving the community is at the heart of the group’s agenda and by bringing two of our important investments together, under one umbrella operation, we believe we are well suited to continue driving the economic stability of an independent Namibia,” CEO of the Frans Indongo Group, Kobus van Graan said.

The Namibian Competition Commission approved the merger, subject to conditions that highlight certain public interest concerns related to employment. These include that there will be no retrenchment of employees as a result of the merger and that employment contracts of the merged entity will be no less favourable than those of the pre-existing entities.

“There will be no merger-specific retrenchments despite synergies in regard to the merged workforce,” adding that “We’re eager to start incorporating this business to assist with driving our distribution efficiencies as well as our overarching aim of building a stronger, more sustainable product portfolio in the long term,” Hamm acknowledged the conditions.

Based in Windhoek, Bokomo Namibia focuses on wheat and flour, maize meal, and pasta production – and it distributes a wide range of the Pioneer Foods Group’s products in the region. It operates a wheat and maize mill and a pasta plant. A 50% equity stake was sold to Frans Indongo Group, a Namibian business, in 2007.

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