According to a senior executive, Coca-Cola is making moves to acquire Nigeria’s leading juice company, Chi Ltd, the producers of Chi Juice with a deal expected to be sealed early next year.
The takeover is one of the plans of the US-based beverage company to diversify from its core business of sugary sodas.
“We are still on track to complete the acquisition (of Chi Ltd) by the end of the first quarter of 2019,” Peter Njonjo, president of Coca-Cola’s West Africa business, said on Wednesday.
Coca-Cola bought a 40% stake in the Nigerian juice and snack producer in January 2016 and said at the time it aimed to increase ownership within three years.
The sales of juice form a central core of Coca-Cola’s attempt to offer beverages at a range of price in order to improve affordability in Nigeria.
“Affordability will start becoming a bigger issue in this market than it was in the past. As a company, that is what we need to factor in as we are thinking about the future of our business in Nigeria,” Njonjo said.
He continued, “We realise that in certain pack formats you can only go down so low but once you start looking at pouches and still products, like juice and drinking yoghurts, that allows you to start accessing much lower price points”.