SOUTH AFRICA – Sovereign Foods, South Africa’s third largest poultry and poultry products producer, has announced its merger with the Cold Storage Group (CSG), a wholesaler of poultry and value-added poultry products. 

The merger follows an approval – with no conditions – by South Africa’s competition commission, reports Business Report.

Chris Coombes, chief executive officer Sovereign Foods, highlighted that Sovereign would take a majority ownership stake in CSG and consolidate the five businesses into one business. 

CSG comprises five inter-related wholesalers which include Umtata Cold Storage, Kei Cold Storage in Queenstown, Zwelitsha Cold Storage, Wilsonia Cold Storage and Sov Foods Factory Shop. 

“Over many years, CSG has built up a loyal and valuable customer base in these areas and has an experienced management team that has driven strong growth in the business over the past five years,” Coombes said.

Additionally, he noted that the business will retain its brand name “Cold Storage Group” and will continue to be run by Darron Gudmanz as the Managing Director together with his existing management team.

“Darron has been a partner in CSG for many years and brings with him an excellent track record, wealth of experience and a drive to grow and expand the business.

We are excited about this transaction and a long-term mutually beneficially relationship. We wish Darron, his management team and all CSG employees the very best,” Coombes added.

In the recent past, Sovereign Foods has embarked in an aggressive expansion strategy evidenced by its large-scale changes across its business.

This includes the expansion of its Uitenhage operation to one million birds a week and the acquisition of the Hartbeespoort operation in 2015 coupled with its expansion to a capacity of 600,000 birds a week.

The companies in CSG distribute, sell and supply poultry and value-added poultry products on a wholesale basis to retailers and walk-in customers in the country.

CSG boasts of a well-established business with 25 delivery vehicles and over 100 employees.

Sovereign Food offers its poultry products under the Country Range and Cater Chicken brands, as well as various private labels and further processed brands.