In a noteworthy business development, the Oppenheimer family, prominent South African billionaires, have successfully acquired a controlling stake in GZ Industries, a leading can manufacturer in Nigeria.
The acquisition was orchestrated by Jonathan Oppenheimer, son of Africa's second wealthiest individual, Nicky Oppenheimer. This strategic move positions the Oppenheimer family to take full control of GZ Industries Ltd., a key player in Nigeria's beverage can manufacturing sector.
The completion of this acquisition, which involved acquiring the remaining shares from Affirma Capital (formerly Standard Chartered Private Equity), underscores the Oppenheimers' confidence in the potential revitalization of Nigeria's economy. Bloomberg reports reveal that the transaction was executed through Oppenheimer Partners Limited, the family's company. While specific financial details of the deal remain undisclosed, it is known that Affirma Capital previously held a substantial 37.5% stake in GZ Industries.
GZ Industries, under the leadership of Executive Director and Group CEO Ayodeji Adelakun, commenced operations in Nigeria in 2019. The company has established itself as a key supplier of cans to major entities like Coca-Cola Co. This acquisition is poised to empower Jonathan Oppenheimer to guide GZ Industries' expansion within sub-Saharan Africa, strategically tapping into the region's lucrative consumer base.
Notably, Oppenheimer Partners entered the GZI venture in 2018, coinciding with the establishment of a GZI factory in South Africa. Presently, GZ Industries holds a substantial 20% market share in South Africa, competing with financially challenged Nampak Ltd., currently in the process of selling assets and restructuring debt.
Affirma Capital's initial investment in GZ Industries dates back to 2012, reflecting the longstanding involvement of private equity in the company's growth journey. GZ Industries boasts significant production capacity, manufacturing a staggering 3 billion aluminum cans annually in Africa. Out of this impressive figure, a substantial 1,800,000,000 cans are produced in Nigeria, reinforcing the company's pivotal role in the region's beverage can manufacturing landscape.