Malaysian palm oil producer Golden Hope has signed an agreement to buy an edible oils refinery in South Africa from Unilever Bestfoods Robertson for MYR69m (US$18.2m).

Golden Hope, which has a total of 133,000 hectares of plantations in Malaysia and Indonesia, said the purchase demonstrated the company’s ambitions to become a major player in the oils and fats business, reported Dow Jones International News. The deal represents Golden Hope’s first venture in Africa.

The refinery produces margarine and other fats and has an annual turnover of ZAR500m (US$71.8m).

After the purchase, the factory’s margarine output will be sold to Unilever Bestfoods, while the bakery fats produced by the plant will go to other food manufacturers.