Nigeria: Heineken’s Exit After Only Two Years

Heineken has agreed to sell its stake in Champion Breweries, a Nigerian beer company, just over two years after acquiring a controlling interest in the company (, 13.10.2021).

Heineken is divesting its ownership in The Raysun Nigeria Company Limited, which holds an 86.5% stake in publicly-listed Champion Breweries, thus transferring its controlling interest in Champion Lager to EnjoyCorp, a local holding company focused on developing a portfolio of food, beverage, and hospitality brands.

The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

A Heineken spokesperson stated, "This decision will allow us to focus more on our core business in Nigeria, while partnering with a local investor capable of supporting Champion's growth in line with local market dynamics."

In 2023, Heineken saw a significant decline in sales volumes in Nigeria, with a drop "in the high teens," according to the company's recent annual report. Heineken's other Nigerian subsidiary, Nigerian Breweries Plc, faced challenges last year, revealing a record high net deficit of USD 240 million due to economic instability attributed to factors like cash scarcity, fuel subsidy removal, naira devaluation, and soaring inflation rates (, 20.02.2024).

Overall, Heineken's global beer volumes declined by 4.7% in 2023, with Vietnam and Nigeria accounting for over 60% of the decrease.

Champion Breweries recently appointed Dr. Inalegwu Adoga, a former executive at Coca-Cola HBC and Heineken, to the positions of Managing Director and CEO.

The latest financial report for Champion Breweries, covering the nine months ending in September of the previous year, revealed a 6.7% decrease in revenue to NGN 8.36 billion (USD 5.1m). Operating losses for the nine-month period amounted to NGN 46.7 million (USD 31,000), compared to a profit of NGN 1.76 billion (USD 1.1m) in the same period the previous year. The net loss for the nine months was NGN 77.7 million (USD 51,000), in contrast to a profit of NGN 1.26 billion (USD 833,000) in the first nine months of 2022.

The Heineken spokesperson emphasized, "Champion boasts strong brands and talented individuals, and we believe this transaction will ensure a sustainable future for the business."

EnjoyCorp expects the deal to be finalized in the second quarter, marking its strategic entry into the beverage category and demonstrating its long-term commitment to the African consumer.

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