South African branded food and healthcare company Tiger Brands is to buy consumer chocolate manufacturer Chococam.

Tiger Brands intend to acquire 74.7% of Cameroon based Chococam from cocoa and chocolate product manufacturer, Barry Callebaut, with the remainder of the shares being held by a number of small private shareholders. The planned acquisition of shares would mean Tiger Brands would take over the entire business including employees. Chococam employs around 300 people and has annual sales of approximately CFA 18 billion (28 million euro/CHF 45 million).

“This acquisition gives impetus to our strategy to expand our African footprint,” said Peter Matlare, chief executive officer of Tiger Brands. “We are delighted that we will have a presence in Cameroon as there is enormous growth potential in this market.”

“We will remain present in Cameroon through our subsidiary SIC Cacaos in which we have just made important investment,” said Patrick De Maeseneire, chief executive officer of Barry Callebaut.

“Our strategic focus in Africa is on cocoa bean sourcing and cocoa processing and not on consumer chocolate. That is why we have decided to divest the last one of our consumer activities, after having sold our consumer businesses in Senegal and Ivory Coast already.” The deal is expected to complete on 31 July 2008.