Record

Ref NoGB1752.UAC/2/38
Alt Ref NoUAC/NF
TitleNiger France
DescriptionThe earliest records in this section relate to Compagnie du Niger Francais [CNF] which was a subsidiary of the Niger Company, set up in Paris in 1913 to operate in Senegal and the French Sudan (Mali). It later became a subsidiary of Niger France SA [established 1959].

Niger France had wide interests in the marketing and distribution of imported and locally manufactured goods in most French-speaking countries of West and Central Africa. There also was a wholesale bicycle spare parts business in France itself.


STRUCTURE OF NIGER FRANCE

Countries of operation given in brackets.

1. Companies based in Africa

1.1 'Societes Commerciales'

NOSOCO (Senegal)
CNF (Guinea) [Compagnie du Niger Francais, Guinea]
CFCI (Ivory Coast) [Compagnie Francaise de la Cote d'Ivoire]
AF (Ivory Coast)
King HV (Haute-Volta)
UAC Ltd (Togo - previously Togoland)
Niger-Afrique (Niger)
J Walkden and Company Ltd (Dahomey)
Richard and William King Ltd (Cameroon)
Ciacam (Cameroon) - Compagnie Industrielle d'Automobiles du Cameroun
Hatton and Cookson (Gabon)
SCKN-Congo (Congo B) [Societe Commerciale du Kouilou Niari]
SCKN-Centra (RCA) [Societe Commerciale du Kouilou Niari] - [SCKN-Fonciere de Centrafrique]
GBO and Company Ltd (RCA, Chad, Gabon)
NSCKN (Chad)

1.2 Plantations

Palmeveas (Gabon)

1.3 'Stes Industrielles'

SFN (Congo B)
BDL (Chad)

1.4 'Assurances'

SOGERCO
SAFRA (Senegal, Ivory Coast)

2. Companies based in France

2.1 'Societes'

CNF (Compagnie du Niger Francais)
SOGERCO
FRAGEP

2.2 'Services Communs'

Services: Commerciaux, Achats, Techniques, Ventes
Services: Administratifs
Experts

2.3 'Services specialises'

Nifratex
Unamec
Matco

NOTES ON NIGER FRANCE

See UAC/1/4/2/26/2 for a memorandum about the organisation of the French companies dated 1940


In 1971 control of the Zaire/Rwanda/Burmundi business (Sedec) was transferred to Niger France from Brussels as a rationalisation measure. More recently [1975] Niger France diversified into new operations in France similar to UAC in Britain.


On 1 March 1973 the United Africa Company became UAC International Ltd, and the principal operating companies in Britain became divisions (no overseas associated companies were affected). These businesses were co-ordinated by two subsidiaries of UAC International: UAC Ltd, London, and its associated company in Paris, Niger France for the French-speaking business, made autonomous in 1959.

When UAC was merged with Overseas Committee in 1987, Compagnie du Niger Francais (CNF) and Niger France operationally became part of AMEG (Africa Middle East Group) which thereafter changed names a number of times. Niger France was the management services company, CNF the export trading company.

The structure of Niger France echoed the divisional structure of UAC Ltd:-

Brewery: UAC International had a majority interest in Brasseries du Logone in Chad in partnership with Heineken who provided technical expertise while commercial advice was provided by Niger France. Niger France also had a small financial interest in a brewery in Congo.

Timber: Niger France had a logging operation in Congo.

Unamec: Niger France, through separate units such as Matforce, Equitec, Matelec and Unitec, sold and serviced mechanical, electrical and hydraulic equipment and had wide interests in French-speaking Africa in other technical sales covering construction equipment, radio, refrigeration and electrical equipment. In France, Niger France developed a wholesale electrical contracting material business.

Motors: Niger France was responsible for the operation of motor vehicle businesses in most of French-speaking Africa, supported by full technical services. In France the company established fuel injection / automotive electrical and motor spare parts activities.

Ollivant: Niger France had wide interests in the marketing and distribution of imported and locally manufactured goods in most French-speaking countries of West and Central Africa. There was a wholesale bicycle spare parts business in France.

Building Materials: In some French-speaking African countries Niger France operated a building materials business under the name of Matco.

Foods: Niger France was a shareholder in companies which imported, bottled and sold wine throughout French-speaking Africa. It also ran a tea-packing plant in Zaire.

Textiles and Industrial Services:
Textiles: Niger France activities included the distribution of textiles through French-speaking Africa, and a partnership with Gamma Holding NV whereby Niger France provided the commercial management of Uniwax, a company manufacturing real wax-prints in the Ivory Coast. Niger France also had an interest in textile printing factories in Zaire and, with the Schaeffer Group and other partners, in the Ivory Coast, Dahomey (later Benin), Congo and Niger. In France, Niger France was a partner in Peltex SA, which made textile furs.
Industrial Services: Niger France had interests in seven bicycle factories, two metal products factories, a flour mill and a soap and animal feeds complex. In France, Niger France had a wholesale bicycle spare parts business. Support services were supplied from Manchester and Paris including buying, technical and financial advice to the various manufacturing and sales units.

Insurance: Niger France operated insurance agencies on a partnership basis in French-speaking Africa and acted as brokers in France.



The Niger France companies were [in 1981]:
"Denominations Sociales":
Nosoco-Senegal - Nouvelle Societe Commerciale Senegalaise (trading in textiles, general goods, vehicles and technical equipment)
Safra - Societe Africaine d'Assurances
Niger-Afrique
Uniwax
CFCI [Compagnie Francaise de la Cote d'Ivoire]
Safraci
A J Seward - Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
UAC-Togo
John Walkden et Compagnie
R W King SA
Sogerco - Cameroun
Hatton and Cookson
Sogerco - Gabon
SCKN - Congo - Societe Commerciale du Kouilou Niari - Congo
SCKN - Fonciere de Centrafrique [Societe Commerciale du Kouilou Niari]
NSCKN - Nouvelle Societe Commerciale du Kouilou-Niari
Brasseries du Logone

"Enseignes Commerciales":
Matforce
Equitec
Matelec
Matco
Unitec
Meubles King
Ciacam
Socomi
Aftex
Gala
Fradis

NOTE: the Blohorn Group, based in Ivory Coast, was acquired in 1982
NOTE: also Cabus et Raulot
NOTE: also Electrical Materials Division of Niger France - distribution interests were represented by Hugo in France and the Dumas businesses in FMA


NOTE: Access to this collection may be restricted as cataloguing is still in progress. Certain records may also be closed in line with UARM's policy on confidentiality and closure periods. Please contact archives@unilever.com for more information
Date1902-1999
LevelSub sub collection
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