Flour Mills of Nigeria (FMN) Plc has acquired a controlling stake in Thai Farm International Limited (Thai Farm) as part of efforts to expand its business interests in the Nigerian agricultural sector.
The 50 year-old company, which has been in the forefront of wheat milling in Nigeria, also has interest in bulk cement packaging, transportation among others. However, it recently introduced other subsidiaries operating in agriculture, livestock feed and pasta manufacturing as part of its strategy to becoming the nation's dominant food business company.
This strategy made FMN to acquire Thai Farm. In a notification to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) last week, FMN said the acquisition was also in line with its unalloyed support for the Federal Government's agricultural transformation agenda having already commenced major agro-allied investments rice cultivation and milling; sugar growing, milling and refining; maize and soya beans growing; palm oil cultivation and refining; and Production of animal feeds.
FMN explained that Thai Farm, located in Ososa, Ogun State, began operations in 2010 growing and processing cassava.
According to the company, Thai Farm has grown to become one of the two leading corporate suppliers of high quality cassava flour (HQCF) to flour millers in Apapa and elsewhere for the past two years.
"The projected availability of HQCF is expected to boost the implementation of the cassava inclusion policy of the Federal Government. By the acquisition therefore, flour mills would be able to ensure consistency in quality, availability and affordability of HQCF," FMN said.
Thai Farm presently has about 100 staff members in its employ and supports a further 1,700 small cassava farmers through its "out grower programme.
FMN said that additional investment was urgently required to increase Thai Farm's capacity in order to meet the growing need for HQCF by flour millers in Nigeria, promising it would provide the company with strong support to enable it diversify into the production of other value adding items like starch and sweeteners.