Cargill African Expansion Moves Forward as Oilseed Refinery Acquisition Nears
Although the global ag giant has been in Africa for 30 years, Cargill employs only about 1% of its staff in sub-Saharan Africa and earns only 1% of its revenues from its business in the region.
In its latest annual report, the company underlined its intent to expand on the continent with the progress it has made toward its $25.7 million purchase of Zamanita Ltd, the oilseed crushing and refining subsidiary of Zambeef, and its recent completion of a $12.5 million expansion of its animal feed operation in South Africa.
Zamanita is one of the largest edible oil and soymeal producers in Zambia, serving both the domestic and export markets for soybean meal. Upon completion of the deal, Cargill will acquire all of Zamanita’s debts, assets, brands and employees. Zambeef’s shareholders have voted to approve the transaction, however, approval is still needed from all relevant competition authorities. These approvals are expected to be granted within weeks.
As oilseed crushing and refining is a core business for Cargill, this acquisition fits well with Cargill’s growth strategy and will allow the company to bring its expertise in the sector to Zambia as a step toward fulfilling its strategic intent on the continent.
After closing, Cargill intends to further expand Zamanita’s capacity; leveraging its existing maize and cotton origination network to provide opportunities for farmers to access the soybean market.
Cargill recognizes the great importance and potential for global food production and future food security that lie within Africa, which is home to 60% of the world’s potential arable land. The report stated, "Raising productivity on existing farmland and allowing suitable acreage to come into production can help Africa realize its agricultural potential."