Negotiations have been concluded in Lagos for the acquisition of a N2.5 billion mixed-used development known as ‘Champion House’ situated along the Oshodi- Apapa Expressway.
The deal struck between Promasidor Nigeria Limited, makers of Cowbell, Onga, Toptea and Loya Milk, and Champion Newspaper Limited, publishers of Champion is coming on the heels of efforts by the food company to expand its operations.
Only recently, Promasidor Nigeria Limited (PNL), concluded arrangements with IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, to inject a $25 million loan (over N8billion) into its production with a view to increase efficiency and produce more products for the benefit of Nigerians.
Although the details of the deal are still sketchy and shrouded in secrecy, The Guardian learnt that the deal consummated recently might be about N2.5 billion, which was the asking price for the derelict property.
The once boisterous building in Isolo was recently described as “eyesore” by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) that later categorized it as one of the structurally deficient and distressed buildings in the state.
Sources disclosed that the acquisition of the building was part of the South African beverage and food-products firm’s expansion agenda as its radar has been on the building for its vintage location. The property comprises four-storey structure and warehouses had lingered because of labour issues before the transaction was concluded earlier in the year.
Confirming the acquisition of the property, the Head Legal and Corporate Communications of the firm, Mr. Andrew Enahoro said it was part of the expansion agenda of the company.
The Managing Director, Olivier Thiry, has explained that the capital injection would be used to support purchases of new machinery that will enable PNL to increase efficiency, expand production and develop new products, leading to greater availability of nutritious food products in Nigeria at competitive prices.
His words: “This is a very competitive market for food products. We expect that this investment will help us optimize production costs, enabling us to reach and nourish more consumers with our affordable range of quality products. We will also target our portfolio extension by gradual integration of more locally sourced raw materials from producers in Nigeria and widening our network of distributors”
According to him, the investment became necessary in view of the numerous business opportunities in the Nigerian market.
He disclosed that Promasidor Nigeria is currently faced with production limitations, as it could not produce enough quantity of its nutritious products to service the demand for them from different parts of the country.
Efforts to get the management of Champion Newspaper to comment on the transaction proved abortive.