By Michael Eboh
International Finance Corporation, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group has invested N3.02 billion ($20 million) in Food Concepts Plc, owners of Chicken Republic and Butterfield Bakery.
The investment package consists of N1.96 billion equity investment and a N1.057 billion long-term loan to the company.
According to a staatement by the IFC made available to Vanguard, the investment will help Food Concepts expand its operations in Nigeria and Ghana and grow other aspects of its business.
According to the statement, IFC is investing $20 million in Food Concepts Plc to help the Nigerian quick-service restaurant and bakery operator improve its social, safety and corporate governance standards, and expand operations in Ghana and Nigeria, increasing the availability of convenient and affordable food.
The statement noted that IFC will provide a financing package consisting of a N1.96 billion ($13 million) equity investment and a N1.057 billion ($7 million) loan to the company, which will use the long-term funding to help develop about 40 new quick-service restaurants, double bakery production, and establish a poultry production farm in Nigeria.
Food Concepts’ expansion plan, according to the statement by the IFC, is expected to create hundreds of jobs, benefiting a number of smaller businesses in its supply chain.
The statement quoted Deji Akinyanju, founder and Chief Executive Officer, Food Concepts, as saying, “IFC’s long-term capital and loan will allow Food Concepts to implement its long-term growth strategy.
IFC’s global expertise will also enable us to become a leading regional quick service restaurant and bakery operator, using best practices in corporate governance, insurance, financial management, and environmental and social matters.”
Alsop speaking, Solomon Adegbie-Quaynor, IFC Country Manager for Nigeria, said, “IFC’s investment in Food Concepts underscores our commitment to supporting Nigeria’s private sector, especially its SME sector.
Our partnership with Food Concepts will also help develop reliable food supply chains and strengthen the competitiveness of West Africa’s agribusiness and food-processing sectors, which are vital to the region’s development.”
The statement noted that supporting small and medium enterprises and agribusiness are key priorities for IFC in Africa, especially since these sectors account for the bulk of employment on the continent.