PARIS May 23 – Danone and its Dubai-based private equity partner Abraj will together invest $25 million to expand production capacity at the Fan Milk dairy business in Ghana, the French food group said on Tuesday.
Attracted by the spending power of a growing middle class, Africa has in recent years become a major area of expansion for Danone and other global consumer product companies such as Unilever, Nestle, Pernod Ricard and Diageo.
Paris-based Danone has spent over 1 billion euros ($1.12 billion) since 2013 to expand in Africa through acquisitions in countries including Kenya, Morocco and Ivory Coast.
Africa accounts for over 5 percent of Danone’s revenue. Sales from West Africa are growing near an annual 20 percent and the target is to continue that until 2020.
The investment will add three production lines to the Akosombo plant in Accra, Ghana to meet growing demand in West Africa for dairy products, Danone said.
From June, the plant will launch FanMaxx, a new vitamin and calcium-enriched creamy yoghurt drink with a four-month shelf life.
In 2013 Danone bought a 49 percent stake in Fan Milk, which operates in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, while Abraj acquired a 51 percent stake. Danone became a majority shareholder in 2016.