* To invest $175 million in new plant in South Africa
* Work on a $200 mln plant in Nigeria underway
By Tiisetso Motsoeneng
JOHANNESBURG, March 19 Procter & Gamble Co.
, the world's biggest household products maker, is
spending $450 million upgrading and building new factories in
Africa, the latest multinational to position itself for take-off
on the fast-growing continent.
The bulk of the money is being spent in South Africa, where
the firm plans to build a 1.6 billion rand ($175 million) plant
next year, and in Nigeria, where it is in the middle of
constructing a $200 million baby-care products facility.
Africa has been in the limelight for global consumer firms
since Wal-Mart's $2.4 billion acquisition in 2011 of
South African retailer Massmart gave the world's
largest retailer a foothold in several sub-Saharan countries.
P&G, which already makes nappies for South Africa in a
factory near Johannesburg, said the new factory in Africa's
biggest economy would make products such as detergents for the
local market and export to southern and east Africa.
Construction of the facility, which the company said would
be among its biggest in Africa and Europe, would start next
year, with production expected by 2017.
"Sub-Saharan Africa is the fastest growing region for our
business," said Michael Yates, one of P&G's top officials in the
Yates also said a factory in Nigeria's Ogun state, 200 km
(130 miles) outside Lagos, was expected to start production in
the next year. P&G is also upgrading its factory in Morocco,
Global consumer goods companies want their products on the
shelves of retailers such Shoprite which have laid out
aggressive plans for store openings across the continent of a
However, Shoprite - Africa's largest retailer - and rivals
Massmart and Pick n Pay have been slower to
put their plans into action due to a lack of shopping malls in
most of the continent.
P&G's expansion plans pit it against South African firm
Tiger Brands and Anglo-Dutch consumer goods company
Unilever, which has said it wants to double its Africa
revenue in the next few years.
Swiss consumer foods maker Nestle is in the middle
of a 1 billion Swiss francs ($1.06 billion) investment in
expanding and upgrading facilities in Africa.