Cadbury Schweppes has increased its shareholding in Cadbury Nigeria from 46.4% to 50.02% at a total cost of GBP19.7m (US$34.33m).

Cadbury Nigeria was incorporated in 1965 and is the market leader in sugar confectionery, gum and food beverages in Nigeria with strong market shares across all three categories.

“Nigeria is an important growth market for the group within its fast-growing operations in Africa and the Middle East. The move to a majority holding will allow Cadbury Nigeria to become a key production hub for the group in West Africa, and will enhance Cadbury Nigeria’s capabilities through better access to group technology and expertise,” the company said in a statement.

As a result of Cadbury Schweppes achieving a majority holding in Cadbury Nigeria, Cadbury Nigeria will be consolidated in the group accounts of Cadbury Schweppes, having previously been accounted for as an associate.

During 2005, Cadbury Nigeria’s net sales were GBP102m. Underlying operating profit was GBP20m. Its contribution to the group’s share of results in associates was GBP5m.