A merger between Sasko and Bokomo seemed like a natural progression, in view of the companies’ similar and shared history, and complementary business models.

In May 1997, the merger between Sasko and Bokomo to form a new company, Pioneer Foods, was announced. This event marked the joining together of two of the country's long-established leaders in the food sector, after courting each other for over 50 years.

The benefits and prospects of the merger were compelling:

  • The opportunity to move away from the heavy dependence on wheat milling and baking industries as core focus areas,
  • Sasko’s strong cash flow could be leveraged to fund the future growth opportunities in Bokomo’s diverse product range,
  • Expansion possibilities into new markets,
  • Greater cost-efficiencies and profitability,
  • Geographical synergy, in terms of offices, facilities and distribution networks,
  • Increased market share, and
  • Better critical mass.

The amalgamation of Sasko and Bokomo created a significant player in the South African food sector. Over the next 10 years, from 1997 to 2007, the newly formed organisation, operating as Pioneer Foods, would prepare the way to listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.