Singapore agribusiness group Olam International has made another move to expand its packaged food business in Africa with the acquisition of Nigerian biscuit and confectionery firm Titanium Holding Co.

Olam has paid US$167m for Titanium, which it said was the second-largest biscuit and confectionery manufacturer in Nigeria.

Titanium supplies biscuit and confectionery under the OK brand in categories that are growing at 10-12% and 12-15% respectively, Olam said.

Nigeria is one of seven African markets in which Olam operates. It sells products including tomato paste, pasta, noodles and seasonings in markets like Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire and Mali. Olam said Nigeria is the second-largest market in Africa in terms of packaged food consumption.

Olam wants to create a biscuit and confectionery "hub" in Nigeria to supply other markets in the region.

"This acquisition presents a unique opportunity for our packaged foods business to scale up and move immediately into a leadership position in two attractive packaged foods categories in the largest consumer market in west Africa," Olam senior vice president and head of packaged foods M Ramanarayanan said yesterday (9 February).