Oreo maker in talks to expand presence in South Africa

By Gill Hyslop

- Last updated on GMT

Snackworks is part of AVI Ltd, a major food producer and fashion retailer in South Africa. Pic: AVI Ltd.
Snackworks is part of AVI Ltd, a major food producer and fashion retailer in South Africa. Pic: AVI Ltd.

Related tags: Mondelez International, AVI Ltd, Biscuits, Snacks, South africa

SA food producer and fashion retailer AVI Ltd has confirmed it is in talks with American giant Mondelēz International regarding the sale of its snacks and biscuits business.

The Choice Assorted biscuits maker had been hinting since September that it had entered into negotiations, but refused to divulge the interested parties. The division up for grabs is Snackworks, which includes the Bakers, Baumann’s, Pyotts and Provita biscuit and cracker brands, as well as Willards potato crisps, Baker Street Snacks and Jumpin Jack flavoured popcorn.

In addition to Snackworks, AVI owns Five Roses and Freshpack (tea), I&J Frisco and Koffiehuis (coffee), as well as shoe brands Spitz and Green Cross.

Early days

“The company advises shareholders that it has progressed discussions with Mondelez International LLC regarding the potential acquisition of AVI’s Snackworks division,”​ it said in a statement.

“Bearing in mind that there can be no certainty that an agreement will be reached, AVI shareholders are advised to continue exercising caution when dealing in their AVI securities until a further announcement is made.”

AVI’s Snackworks division brought in revenue of $4.3bn ($270m) for the year ended 30 June 2021 and contributes about 32% to group revenue.

Mondelēz has been ramping up its presence in the snacking category, and most recently announced the acquisition of Greek croissant and baked snacks maker Chipita S.A. for $2bn,​ alongside Australian cookie and cracker producer Gourmet Food Holdings​ ​and other bolt-ons.

The Chicago-headquartered producer owns iconic biscuit brands like Oreo, TUC and Ritz, among a large range of other snack brands, including Cadbury’s and Toblerone.

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