Sovereign Foods in merger with East Cape poultry wholesaler

Sovereign Foods CEO Chris Coombes
Sovereign Foods CEO Chris Coombes
Image: Supplied

overeign Foods, the thirdlargest poultry producer in SA, announced its merger with Eastern Cape poultry wholesaler Cold Storage Group on Thursday.

CSG comprises five interrelated wholesalers, including Umtata Cold Storage, Kei Cold Storage in Komani, Zwelitsha Cold Storage, Wilsonia Cold Storage in East London and Sovereign Foods Factory Shop in Uitenhage.

Sovereign Foods CEO Chris Coombes said the company would take a majority ownership stake in CSG, and consolidate the five entities into one business, effective from Friday.

“Over many years, CSG has built up a loyal and valuable customer base in these areas and has an experienced management team in place that has driven strong growth over the past five years,” he said.

He said the business would still be known as the Cold Storage Group and would continue to be run by Darron Gudmanz as managing director together with his management team.

“Darron has been a partner in CSG for many years and brings with him an excellent track record, wealth of experience and a drive to grow and expand the business.

“We are excited about this transaction and a long-term mutually beneficially relationship. We wish Darron, his management team and all CSG employees the very best,” Coombes said.

The companies in CSG distribute, sell and supply poultry and other value-added poultry products on a wholesale basis to retailers and customers in the Eastern Cape region.

Sovereign Foods has undergone large-scale changes including the expansion of its Uitenhage operation to one million birds a week and the acquisition of the Hartbeespoort operation in 2015 and expansion to 600,000 birds a week.