Nigerian Breweries, the largest brewing group in Africa’s most populous country, disclosed on Friday in an announcement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange that its major shareholder, Heineken Brouwerijen B.V., bought 274,542 shares at an average price N35.76 (USD 0.094) per unit. The transaction was executed in three different transactions from August 11 to 13, 2020, according to the notice signed by Uaboi G. Agbebaku, Company Secretary, Nigerian Breweries Plc. The Dutch brewer already owns 55.95% of the total of 8 billion outstanding shares and the new shares will only marginally increase its stake.
In recent years, major brewing groups have increased their investments in Nigeria. The country has a young and growing population of more than 200 million people and an average beer consumption of 10 to12 liters per year. Despite the fact that this is one of the highest consumption rates in Africa it is still tiny compared to other regions in the world.
Beer production in Nigeria amounts to about 20 million hectoliters. Clear market leader is Nigerian Breweries with 11 production sites in the country and a market share of about 55% in 2019. The company has struggled for growth over the last few years. In contrast, the number two in the market, International Breweries which held about 23% of the beer market in 2019 is catching up. Last year the brewery overtook Guinness in size which holds 22% of the domestic sales. International Breweries which is since the purchase of Johannesburg-based brewing group SAB Miller in 2016 part of the world largest brewing group AB InBev opened last year a new USD 250 million brewery near Lagos, Nigeria (inside beer, 19.2.2019) which will be extended in stages for another USD 150 million in the coming years.
“Nigeria (is) becoming a more and more important market as we grow in that market,” AB InBev’s Chief Executive Officer Carlos Brito, said last year. “I mean we’re growing double digits, we didn’t grow in the past as fast because we were lacking capacity and now that we have capacity, strong brands and (a) great group of people we’re challenging the status quo there” (inside.beer, 22.5.2019).