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.”
Union Bank Announces the Appointment of Aisha Abubakar as Independent Non-Executive Director
Union Bank of Nigeria Plc (“Union Bank”) has announced a change to the membership of its Board of Directors with the appointment of Ms. Aisha Abubakar as an Independent Non-Executive Director effective 9th September 2021, following the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Ms. Abubakar joins the Board of Union Bank following her tenure as Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Women Affairs and Social Development from 2018 to 2019. Prior to this, she also served as the Honourable Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment between 2015 and 2018. At the start of her career, Ms. Abubakar worked at Continental Merchant Bank Ltd., African Development Bank and African International Bank.
She is an accomplished public sector administrator with over three decades of professional experience in Public Service and Pension Administration, Investment Banking, SME Finance/Rural Enterprise Development and Micro-Credit Administration.
Ms. Abubakar is a Fellow of the International Professional Managers Association (IPMA-UK), and the President of the International Experts Consultants (IEC-UK).
Commenting on the addition to the Board, Mrs. Beatrice Hamza Bassey, Union Bank’s Board Chair said: “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I welcome Ms. Aisha Abubakar to the Board. She brings many years of robust experience which will be invaluable in supporting our efforts to steer the Bank forward and deliver on our strategic objectives.”
Also commenting, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Emeka Okonkwo said: “I am pleased to welcome our new Independent Non-Executive Director, Ms. Aisha Abubakar to the Board. We look forward to drawing from her wealth of experience and fresh perspectives as we continue to execute our vision to be Nigeria’s most reliable and trusted partner.”
AfDB Approves $50M Trade Finance Deal with Standard Chartered Bank
The African Development Bank Group has approved a $50m Trade Finance Unfunded Risk Participation Agreement (RPA) for StandardChartered Bank.
This was contained in a statement titled ‘African Development Bank approves a $50m Multinational Trade Finance Risk Participation Agreement facility for Standard Chartered Bank’ published on the bank’s website on Wednesday.
The statement said, “The board of directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved a $50m Trade Finance Unfunded Risk Participation Agreement facility between the African Development Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.”
The essence of this agreement is to promote intra-Africa trade, ensure regional integration and lessen the trade finance gap in Africa.
“The agreement is expected to boost intra-Africa trade, promote regional integration, and contribute to the reduction of the trade finance gap in Africa, in line with implementation aspirations of the African Continental Free Trade Area,”
The bank’s Director for Financial Sector Development, Stefan Nalletamby, stated that “We are excited about finalising this facility with Standard Chartered Bank as it offers us the flexibility to use our strong AAA-rated risk-bearing capacity to increase access to trade finance and boost intra/extra-African trade on the continent, in support of the AfCFTA.
“This partnership is expected to catalyze more than $600m in value of trade finance transactions across multi-sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing and energy over the next three years.”
Director-General of the bank’s Southern Africa region, Leila Mokadem, was quoted to have said, “The advent of COVID-19, coupled with stringent regulatory/capital requirements and Know Your Customer compliance enforcement, has seen many global banks reduce their correspondent banking relationships in Africa, while some are exiting the market altogether.
“There is, therefore, an urgent need for financing to reenergise Africa’s trade, which requires more participation of institutions like the African Development Bank.”
The parties in the agreement are expected to share the default risk on a portfolio of eligible trade transactions originated by African Issuing Banks and indemnified by Standard Chartered Bank.
Beneficiaries of this facility are issuing banks in Africa with the ability to grow their trade finance business has been constrained by inadequate trade confirmation lines from international banks.
Other beneficiaries are small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and domestic firms which rely on these issuing banks to fulfill their trade finance commitments.
The RPA facility is aligned with the AfDB’s High 5 priority goals which are: light up and power Africa, feed Africa, industrialize Africa, integrate Africa, and improve the quality of life for the people of Africa.
Standard Chartered Launches Flexible ‘Smart Business Loan’ Product To Support SMEs
Standard Chartered on Wednesday launched its Smart Business Loan (SBL) product to support Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SMEs) in Nigeria.
David Idoru, Head of Consumer, Private and Business Banking, of the bank in Nigeria, said in a statement in Lagos that SBL was an unsecured installment/term loan available to SME clients within key target sectors.
“Qualified SMEs would be able to access up to N20million loan, without providing tangible security/collateral to purchase asset, finance business expansion and other capital expenditure needs.
“This loan was designed to help SMEs meet their short to medium-term needs.
“As a Bank, our purpose is to drive commerce and prosperity in the locations we operate in. This is done through offering cash, lending, trade and wealth management solutions that specifically drive economic growth,” he said.
Idoru said that the bank was constantly looking for ways to ensure SMEs get access to the needed support to enable their businesses to thrive, adding that prior to the product launch, clients were required to provide full collateral cover to access loans from the bank, but SBL had been designed to provide the necessary flexibility to the clients.
“It is accessible to new and existing clients of the Bank with no waiting period, including small and medium scale organisations, who can access up to N20million in loans without collateral for a maximum tenure of two years,” he said.
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