Nigeria is the largest beauty and personal care market in Africa, after South Africa, so it was no surprise that Unilever recently boosted its equity stake in Unilever Nigeria PLC from 50.04% to a maximum of 75%.
"This proposal demonstrates our commitment to the Unilever Nigeria business and confidence in the long-term growth prospects of the company and consumer goods sector in Nigeria," said Bruno Witvoet, executive vice president of Unilever Africa.
Sub-Saharan Africa's economies are some of the fastest-growing in the world, competing with giants such as Russia and Brazil. According to one report, the African beauty market will double over the next decade.
A number of beauty and personal care companies are operating in Nigeria, including L'Oréal and P&G, as well as Indian companies such as Marico and Godrej.
Suppliers have moved into the country to capture growth as well, including Symrise, which recently formed its Nigerian unit in Lagos. The company will develop a facility for applications, offices and sales for its scent and care segments.