Coca-Cola is widening its dairy footprint

Coca-Cola is widening its dairy footprint

The Coca-Cola Co is to buy a minority stake in Nigerian dairy and soft drinks business Chi.

The US drinks giant has struck a deal with Chi's holding company, Tropical General Investments, to acquire 40% of the business, with plans to buy the rest of the group within three years.

Chi markets products including milk, drinking yoghurt and soy milk under the Hollandia brand. Coca-Cola said the acquisition marks its entry into Africa's "high-growth, value-added dairy category".

Kelvin Balogun, the president of Coca-Cola's operations in central, east and west Africa, added: "We are extremely optimistic about Africa's continued economic and social growth and recognise the importance of ensuring we stay one step ahead of evolving consumer tastes by broadening our portfolio and introducing new products."

Cornelis Vink, the chairman of TGI Group and Chi, said: "The relationship will allow us to expand our regional footprint and product portfolio."

Last week, Coca-Cola announced plans for a fresh push into India's dairy market, with the test launch of a milk-based drink under its Vio brand. It also widened its dairy footprint with the launch in the US in late-2014 of Fairlife Ultra-Filtered, a lactose-free and lower-sugar milk.