PepsiCo offers R23.5bn to buy South Africa's Pioneer Foods

The US drinks and snack group said Pioneer Food’s product portfolio was complementary and would help PepsiCo to expand in sub-Saharan Africa by boosting its manufacturing and distribution capabilities.

FILE: PepsiCo chairperson and CEO Ramon Laguarta. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - PepsiCo has made a $1.7 billion (R23.5 billion) offer to buy South Africa’s Pioneer Food Group the companies said on Friday, boosting the target’s shares by nearly 30%.

The US drinks and snack group said Pioneer Food’s product portfolio was complementary and would help PepsiCo to expand in sub-Saharan Africa by boosting its manufacturing and distribution capabilities.

PepsiCo offered R110 ($7.94) per Pioneer Foods ordinary share, the companies said, with the news lifting the South African company’s shares by 28.8% to almost R100.

“Pioneer Foods forms an important part of our strategy to not only expand in South Africa but further into sub-Saharan Africa as well,” PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta said in a statement.

Pioneer Foods, which has brands ranging from drinks to grain products such as Weet-Bix and Liqui-Fruit, exports to more than 80 countries.