Alexandre Vilgrain

Alexandre Vilgrain, born on April 10th 1956, is the Chairman and CEO of SOMDIAA.


Alexandre Vilgrain studied law at Pantheon-Assas University (Paris II) in France. He graduated in 1979.


After graduating from law school, Alexandre Vilgrain began his professional career in 1979 in the family business SOMDIAA (Société d’Organisation de Management et de Développement des Industries Alimentaires et Agricoles). A major economic player in agro-industry in Africa, over 50 years of proven expertise and know-how especially in sugar and flour businesses, but also in the area of farming and food processing technologies such as animal feed, cotton, poultry, oilseed, etc..

In 1985, while based in Asia, Alexandre Vilgrain created a chain of French bakery cafes called Delifrance. The business became profitable and was successfully floated on the Singapore Stock Exchange in 1996.

In 1995 Alexandre Vilgrain took over from his father, Jean-Louis Vilgrain, as CEO of SOMDIAA Group and resigned from Delifrance in 1998.

He now presides over 10 subsidiaries fully oriented towards African markets and he also serves as an independent Director within associations mostly settled in Africa (CARE, ENTREPRISES & SANTE).

Having witnessed the economic developments in Africa and as a manager of a leading group in the food-processing industry on the Continent, Alexandre Vilgrain was appointed President of the “Conseil Français des Investisseurs en Afrique” (CIAN) in 2009, a non-profit association established in 1979. A French corporate organization bringing together companies investing in Africa.

In addition to his CEO role at SOMDIAA, Alexandre Vilgrain has held a number of other executive positions. In 1990, he became CEO of COGEDAL mill, which produces flour for bread and pastries on Reunion Island (Indian Ocean).

He also serves as an Independent Director of Maurel & Prom International SA since November 2010 (previously named as Maurel & Prom Nigeria).

He was appointed member of the Supervisory Board of the “Compagnie Francaise de l’Afrique Occidentale” (CFAO) from November 2009 to January 2011.

And since 2005, he is the Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Les Fromentiers de France.


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Alexandre Vilgrain has retained a deep interest in contemporary art, French gastronomy, Greece and sailing.

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