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Wilmar spreads to Africa via Cosumar

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Staff writer |
CosumarWilmar, Australia's largest cane milling company, has acquired from Societe Nationale d'Investissement (SNI) a 27.5% equity stake in Cosumar for $263 million (MAD2.3 billion) in cash.

Subsequent to this transaction, a block of up to 26.5% will be sold by SNI to a consortium of Moroccan institutional investors, who together with Wilmar will constitute a strategic 54% controlling block in Cosumar. Funding for this acquisition will be from internal sources and bank borrowings. The acquisition is not expected to have a material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets and earnings per share of the Wilmar Group for the current financial year ending 31 December 2013.

Casablanca-based Cosumar is the sole sugar supplier in Morocco and the third largest sugar producer in Africa, with ownership of one of the largest refineries in the world, as well as seven beet and cane sugar mills situated in five regions in Morocco. Cosumar's has its portbased refinery in Casablanca, is one of the largest sugar producers in North Africa and it has a significant production capacity for sugar milling and refining of 1.6 million metric tonnes.

"Wilmar has grown its sugar business rapidly since 2010 and today we operate five sugar refineries across Australia, New Zealand and Indonesia with an annual production volume of over 1.8 million MT. Our investment in Cosumar gives us a significant presence in the Western hemisphere and is part of our overall strategy to develop a world-class sugar business," said Kuok Khoon Hong, chairman and CEO of Wilmar.

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