AB InBev is spending $250 million to build a new brewery in Sagamu, Ogun State, 65 km north-east of the country’s capital Lagos as it launches Budweiser into the country. The brewery “will come online next year and it’s our largest brewery in Africa outside of South Africa,” said Annabelle Degroot, Managing Director-designate of the new entity consisting of AB InBev’s existing three breweries in Nigeria and the new site in Sagamu.
“The merger is on track, we have received all the necessary approvals now through the courts and we intend to list the shares of the new, enlarged company on the stock exchange around mid-December. To begin with, the large entity will be known as International Breweries, that’s the company we have currently listed on the stock exchange. AB InBev will have the majority shareholding so we will have over 70 percent of the shares,” said Degroot.
Already in May, AB InBev’s CEO Carlos Brito announced plans to enlarge brewing capacity in Nigeria. “We pretty much sell everything we can produce… We need more capacity in Nigeria,” he said at that time. “Nigeria cannot import beer. I mean the taxes are prohibitive so we have to produce locally… We don’t have global brands because you can’t import them, so you have to produce locally. (inside.beer, 8.6.2017).
AB InBev acquired SAB Miller Nigeria, the owners of the three merging companies, when it took over SAB Miller in a $106 billion deal last year (inside.beer, 28.9.2016). Thus the world's leading brewer took possession of 82.8% of Pabod Beverages, 75% of IntafactBreweries and 72.2% of International Breweries. The enlarged entity will be one of the biggest beverage manufacturing and distribution companies in Nigeria, based on installed production capacity.