United Biscuits said Nigeria offered "strong potential"

United Biscuits said Nigeria offered "strong potential"

United Biscuits has continued its international expansion with a move to buy a stake in Nigerian snacks group A&P Foods.

The McVitie's owner, which last autumn bought a majority stake in a firm in Saudi Arabia, announced the unspecified shareholding in A&P today (12 February).

United Biscuits said it had had "a long standing presence in the country covering several decades". Its brands on sale in Nigeria, including McVitie's, have either been exported to the UK or manufactured under licence.

Jeff van der Eems, the CEO of United Biscuits' international arm, said: "The Nigerian market has strong potential for UB. It is Africa's most populous country and the biscuit market is projected to continue to grow at double digit rates."

The deal, van der Eems said, means markets outside the UK account for 20% of United Biscuits' sales.

A&P Foods is part of Hong Kong conglomerate Assudamal Group. The company, based in Lagos, Nigeria's capital, makes snacks and confectionery sold under the Haansbro brand.

CEO Sameer Vaswani said: "A combination of our regional knowledge and a global biscuit brand such as McVitie's puts the company in a position where it can grow strongly in the local market."

In November, United Biscuits announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Saudi firm Rana Confectionery Products.