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AECI grows its food-beverage ingredients business by snapping up SCP

AECI has agreed to acquire 100% of Southern Canned Products (SCP), a leading manufacturer and distributor of juice-based drinks and products, from Gerber Goldschmidt South Africa, a private equity investment company, and the management of SCP.

While the financial details are not discosed, in its last financial year, SCP generated revenue of R520-million. The move is part of AECI’s stated strategy of growing its food additives and ingredients business in South Africa and ultimately the rest of Africa.

AECI already has a notable footprint in the ingredients game through Lake Foods, the exclusive representative for leading international manufacturers and suppliers of specialty ingredients and commodities for the bakery, beverage, dairy, health and nutrition, meat, poultry and wine industries. Products include bacterial cultures, enzymes, natural colours, test systems, phosphates, stabilisers, emulsifiers, baking powders, brines, spice blends, marinades and various other food ingredients.

With SCP in the fold, this will enhance the business’s offering to the beverage industry in particular.

“Consumers want more appetite appeal, choice, flavour and texture, and we’re committed to providing products that meet these increasingly complex requirements,” says Dean Murray, chairman of Lake Foods and Chemical Cluster Executive at AECI.

“We’re looking at food additive and ingredient manufacturers that have a deep customer service culture and proprietary intellectual property; SCP ticked all the boxes in this regard.”

Says Mark Dytor, CEO of AECI.”Although Lake Foods and SCP are primarily focused on the South African market, they have representation in some parts of the continent. Moving forward, we plan to optimise synergies and leverage AECI’s extensive African footprint to diversify the businesses.

“This is very important in geographies where a number of our major customers are putting down roots in a bid to unlock the commercial opportunity of the above-average economic growth in emerging markets.”

Founded more than 50 years ago, SCP has a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Cape Town that is HACCP and ISO accredited. In line with AECI’s commitment to delivering added value, SCP supports its customers throughout the product development lifecycle, with capacity in R&D (analytical, sensory and technical), manufacturing, packaging and logistics.

SCP comprises three divisions:

Trading: This division has contracts with established local companies to source, import and manage the logistics of its customers’ juice concentrate requirements.

Specialised and formulated juices: This division is focused on in-house intellectual property in the formulation and manufacture of specific juice concentrate products for local and international beverage customers.

Brand: This division bottles olive and seed oils, marketed under the Olive Pride brand.

The acquisition is subject to a number of conditions, including approval by the Competition Commission.

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