GBfoods, Helios acquire production plants in Nigeria, Ghana

By Tunde Osho

GBfoods, a leading multinational food company, and Helios Investment Partners, an Africa-focused private investment firm, have formed a joint venture (JV) to create one of the largest Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) businesses in Africa.

According to a statement released on Tuesday, the JV, called GBfoods Africa Holdco B.V., has acquired some leading brands on the continent.

Some of the popular and well-known brands acquired by the joint venture owned by GBfoods and Helios are Jumbo (bouillon cube or stock cube), Gino and Pomo (tomato paste), Jago (milk powder and mayonnaise), as well as Bama (mayonnaise) distribution rights for Africa.

The agreement also includes the acquisition of three production plants in Africa, two in Nigeria and one in Ghana — with more than 600 workers from different nationalities. This will become a leading pan-African culinary products company with presence in over 30 African countries.

“With this acquisition, we strengthen our position in Africa, being present in 30 countries, including key countries like Nigeria and Ghana, with enormous potential for growth,” said Ignasi Ricou, Chief Executive Officer of GBfoods. “We also expand our portfolio of products with popular and well-known brands such as Gino, Pomo, Jago and Bama, introducing us to new strategic categories such as tomato, milk powder and mayonnaise.”

Headquartered in Barcelona, GBfoods has had a presence in Africa for more than 40 years, offering culinary solutions. Its African operations contribute about 20% of the group’s turnover. Helios Investment Partners is one of the largest private equity funds in Africa. The company operates a family of funds, which has invested over $3 billion in African businesses.

“We are very excited about partnering with GBfoods to create an African FMCG champion that combines best-in-class global practices and strong, local management,” said Babatunde Soyoye, Co-founder of Helios Investment Partners. “GBfoods’ innovative pipeline of convenience products adds value to the African consumer by saving both money and cooking time versus the alternative of buying individual ingredients.”