President Coca-Cola West Africa, Business Unit, Peter Njonjo, said that Coca-Cola had earlier in January 29th 2016 acquired 40 per cent of Chi Ltd but has now completed the acquisition by taking over the remaining 60 per cent of Chi company on January 30th 2019.
He revealed this while making the announcement at Eko Hotels, Lagos, at a press briefing attended by top officials of Coca-Cola and Chi companies and other stake holders.
While describing the acquisition as a testament to the company’s commitment to being a total beverage company to meet the changing tastes and needs of consumers, he said the acquisition was spurred by a shift in the taste and needs of consumers. He also said that a majority of the customers of Coca-Cola were of the lower income cadre, adding that Chi, on its part, was relevant to the Nigerian market, especially in terms of low prices.
“We will support the Chi management team in building on the company’s remarkable heritage and achievements while using the scale of the Coca-Cola system to replicate their success in more markets across Africa.” The visibly elated Njonjo noted that the acquisition was an investment of great interest because of how the brand has been built and made relevant in the Nigerian economy emphasising that it will be further grown into a global million dollar brand over the next 10 years, adding that towards that end, “Coca-Cola recently launched Hollandia yoghurt drink in South Africa.”
Responding to a question on if any products in the two companies may be collapsed, Njonjo said that none of the products in any of the companies will give way, rather “all the products will coexist. Already Chi sells high quality products so we shall continue with that quality and affordable pricing.” Continuing, he explained that the company Chi will still be left to operate with their staff. “We shall not interfere with the day-to-day running of the company but we shall maintain and grow it. Its products would be distributed internationally.”
“Our objective is to grow both the Chi and Hollandia units to a global multi-billion dollar brand.” Lending credence to what Njonjo said, Coca-Cola’s Public Affairs & Communications Director West Africa Business Unit, Clem Ugorji, reaffirmed that “This acquisition is a testament to how we will achieve our objectives and it is also a celebration of entrepreneurship.”
Speaking further, he said “We will not collapse the Chi brand or any of its products. Doing that will only make the company lose the attractiveness that it had before the acquisition. Rather, we will continue to grow both brands and employees in order to grow our customer base and strengthen our market share.”
Chi Limited was founded in Lagos in 1980. It produces juice under the Chivita brand, Caprisonne and value-added dairy under the Hollandia brand. In a September 2018 interview, Njonjo had said that the company’s drive to diversify its product range would give it some flexibility.