The Federal Government’s drive to diversify the economy and encourage local production and consumption, has received another boost with A&P Foods, the local manufacturer of McVitie’s and Haansbro products in Nigeria, joining pladis. A&P Foods is a subsidiary of the former United Biscuits, now pladis, a global biscuit and confectionery company which brings together Godiva Chocolatier, United Biscuits, Ulker and DeMet’s Candy Company.
Formed in January 2016, pladis is the new global biscuit and confectionery company owned by Yildiz Holding, the largest food company in Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa. Named after the ‘Pleiades’ constellation, a group of seven stars visible from anywhere on earth, the new company brings internationally recognized brands Godiva, McVitie’s and Ulker together under one roof to form a $US5.2 billion business.
“Establishing pladis is the first step in realizing the long-term strategy of Yildiz Holding. We are bringing together some of the world’s best loved brands and combining their 350 years of experience to form a new family company. We will be a global leader in biscuits and confectionery, and bring ‘bites of happiness’ to every corner of the world,” comments Yildiz Holding Chairman, Murat Ulker.
Yildiz Holding started its journey as a family company when Ulker was established in 1944. In 1989, Ulker was brought under the roof of Yildiz Holding and in just over 70 years, the company has evolved from a local Istanbul biscuit maker into a global food group that reaches 4 billion consumers.
In 2014, Yildiz Holding acquired United Biscuits (UB), a major British biscuits business and owner of the McVitie’s brand, becoming one of the world’s largest biscuit manufacturers. With the acquisition of UB, the company also acquired A&P Foods, a UB subsidiary and manufacturer of the McVitie’s and Haansbro biscuits and confectionery in Nigeria.
With 36 factories in 13 countries including Nigeria, pladis employs 26,000 people across the world and is led by a senior leadership team: Cem Karakas, CEO, and Ali Ulker, Vice Chairman of Yildiz Holding, focusing on innovation and quality. The company operates on a regional basis, with each region led by a local management team that is responsible for manufacturing and commercial activities of the full pladis brand portfolio.
Ali Jaber, Managing Director of pladis’ Sub Saharan Africa region said, “Being part of pladis brings the opportunity to offer a wider range of brands and products, and further grow the business in the region.” With a firm belief in nurturing growth by building a sustainable flow of raw materials locally, pladis adds value to the lives of thousands of local workers.
The company has developed some long term strategies aimed at helping it achieve its vision of growth in markets where it operates. Commenting on the vision for pladis, CEO, Cem Karakas, states, “We have significant growth ambitions for pladis with the aim to outperform the category standard year-on-year. This is supported by our capital position and the strength of our manufacturing as one of only two companies in the world that produce such a broad range of biscuits and confectionery. As one global family, we can be agile and innovate around our products, developing more brand synergies to benefit our business.”
IBEDC Disconnects UCH Over N500m Debt, Critical Services Affected
The University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State, experienced a disruption in its power supply after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) disconnected the hospital over a debt amounting to N500 million.
Dr. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, confirmed the disconnection but refrained from elaborating on the exact cause.
IBEDC’s spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, acknowledged the outstanding debt owed by UCH but denied that the disconnection was intentional.
Tunwase stated that while UCH owed the substantial amount, the power outage was due to a technical fault in the area, coinciding with the debt situation.
Despite repeated attempts to engage UCH in discussions to settle the debt, IBEDC had resorted to disconnection as a last resort.
The disconnection poses significant challenges to UCH’s critical services, affecting patient care and hospital operations.
While IBEDC emphasized its understanding of the hospital’s importance and commitment to resolving the issue amicably, the situation underscores the financial strains faced by healthcare institutions and the essential need for reliable power supply.
Efforts to negotiate and find a resolution between UCH and IBEDC are ongoing to restore normal operations and ensure uninterrupted healthcare services.
Oil and Gas Dealers Threaten Withdrawal as 70% of Downstream Businesses Collapse
The downstream oil sector in Nigeria faces a looming crisis as oil and gas dealers, represented by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), issue a stern warning of potential service withdrawal.
In a recent resolution following their executive committee meeting in Abuja, NOGASA expressed grave concerns over the collapse of approximately 70% of businesses in the industry due to the harsh operating environment.
President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the challenges faced by oil marketers in funding operations amidst soaring bank interest rates.
Korie underscored the overwhelming burden faced by operators who are compelled to acquire funds at exorbitant interest rates upwards of 30%, exacerbating financial strain and hindering business viability.
The primary demand voiced by NOGASA is the pegging of the foreign exchange rate at N750/$ to facilitate refinery operations and stimulate the production of refined products domestically.
Failure to address these pressing issues, Korie warned, could result in the withdrawal of services by NOGASA’s over 200 members starting from the next month.
The downstream oil crisis coincides with heightened anticipation for the release of refined petroleum products from the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries, seen as critical for alleviating supply shortages nationwide.
However, amidst forex crises and inflationary pressures, operators in the oil and gas sector confront mounting economic challenges, necessitating urgent government intervention.
As Nigeria navigates through turbulent economic waters, stakeholders eagerly await decisive action from authorities to salvage the downstream oil sector from imminent collapse and avert potential disruptions in fuel supply chains.
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