According to Reuters, Kraft Foods will pay 1.31 billion dirhams ($151 million) to take full control of Morocco’s top cookie maker, Bimo, from local investment holding National Investment Co. (SNI), controlled by the country’s royal family. SNI said it had signed an agreement for the sale of its 50% stake in Bimo to double Kraft Foods’ stake in the company to 100%.
In October, Kraft will split into two companies, one focused on cookies and candy in overseas markets and one focused on North American grocery. Kraft said the takeover of Bimo was part of its strategy to grow in developing markets.
Unlisted Bimo controls close to 13% of Morocco’s cookie sales, a market share that has been dwindling in recent years due mostly to growing local competition and the effects of free trade deals, mostly with the European Union and Turkey. SNI said Bimo, founded in 1981 and which currently has two production units and 1,400 employees, had sales worth 831 million dirhams in 2011.