Pioneer shareholders give nod to PepsiCo deal

The R24.4 billion deal is subject to the approval by competition authorities. 

Shareholders of South Africa-based Pioneer Foods have approved its takeover by soft drink and food multinational giant PepsiCo in a vote on Tuesday. 

PepsiCo – which owns food brands including Pepsi, Lays, Doritos and Gatorade – has been in the process of sealing a deal to buy Pioneer – which owns Sasko, White Star, Weet-Bix and Liqui-Fruit – for R24.4 billion.  

According to the two companies the transaction is expected to be concluded in the first quarter of 2020. The deal will be subject to customary closing conditions, including approval from regulators in South Africa.

“Shareholders are advised that the PepsiCo Offer, as defined in the combined circular distributed to Pioneer Foods shareholders on 29 August 2019, is still subject to various conditions precedent,” the statement said.

In a separate statement, PepsiCo CEO sub-Saharan Africa for Eugene Willemsen, said the takeover was part of the company's ambitions to build and develop a stronger, more sustainable presence on the African continent.

“PepsiCo and Pioneer Foods are committed to scaling our business across the Africa continent with a locally-relevant product portfolio. Together, we have a shared vision for building a more sustainable future for Africa, investing in and partnering with our communities and to create long-term stakeholder value,” said Eugene.

PepsiCo said the transaction would represent one of the most significant inward investments into South Africa in recent years.