The Federal Government’s drive to diversify the economy and encourage local production and consumption, has received another boost with A&P Foods, the local manufacturer of McVitie’s and Haansbro products in Nigeria, joining pladis. A&P Foods is a subsidiary of the former United Biscuits, now pladis, a global biscuit and confectionery company which brings together Godiva Chocolatier, United Biscuits, Ulker and DeMet’s Candy Company.
Formed in January 2016, pladis is the new global biscuit and confectionery company owned by Yildiz Holding, the largest food company in Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa. Named after the ‘Pleiades’ constellation, a group of seven stars visible from anywhere on earth, the new company brings internationally recognized brands Godiva, McVitie’s and Ulker together under one roof to form a $US5.2 billion business.
“Establishing pladis is the first step in realizing the long-term strategy of Yildiz Holding. We are bringing together some of the world’s best loved brands and combining their 350 years of experience to form a new family company. We will be a global leader in biscuits and confectionery, and bring ‘bites of happiness’ to every corner of the world,” comments Yildiz Holding Chairman, Murat Ulker.
Yildiz Holding started its journey as a family company when Ulker was established in 1944. In 1989, Ulker was brought under the roof of Yildiz Holding and in just over 70 years, the company has evolved from a local Istanbul biscuit maker into a global food group that reaches 4 billion consumers.
In 2014, Yildiz Holding acquired United Biscuits (UB), a major British biscuits business and owner of the McVitie’s brand, becoming one of the world’s largest biscuit manufacturers. With the acquisition of UB, the company also acquired A&P Foods, a UB subsidiary and manufacturer of the McVitie’s and Haansbro biscuits and confectionery in Nigeria.
With 36 factories in 13 countries including Nigeria, pladis employs 26,000 people across the world and is led by a senior leadership team: Cem Karakas, CEO, and Ali Ulker, Vice Chairman of Yildiz Holding, focusing on innovation and quality. The company operates on a regional basis, with each region led by a local management team that is responsible for manufacturing and commercial activities of the full pladis brand portfolio.
Ali Jaber, Managing Director of pladis’ Sub Saharan Africa region said, “Being part of pladis brings the opportunity to offer a wider range of brands and products, and further grow the business in the region.” With a firm belief in nurturing growth by building a sustainable flow of raw materials locally, pladis adds value to the lives of thousands of local workers.
The company has developed some long term strategies aimed at helping it achieve its vision of growth in markets where it operates. Commenting on the vision for pladis, CEO, Cem Karakas, states, “We have significant growth ambitions for pladis with the aim to outperform the category standard year-on-year. This is supported by our capital position and the strength of our manufacturing as one of only two companies in the world that produce such a broad range of biscuits and confectionery. As one global family, we can be agile and innovate around our products, developing more brand synergies to benefit our business.”