Nigerian Brewery Gets Approval to Acquire 80% in Distell Nigeria

Nigerian Breweries Plc, Nigeria's leading brewing company and the local arm of Heineken Brouwerijen B.V., has successfully acquired an 80% stake in Distell Wines and Spirits Nigeria Limited (Distell Nigeria). This strategic acquisition aligns with Nigerian Breweries' objective to diversify its product offerings beyond beer to include wines, spirits, and flavored alcoholic beverages.

The acquisition received approval from the South Africa Reserve Bank (SARB), allowing Nigerian Breweries to purchase shares from Distell International Limited (now Heineken Beverages Holdings Limited) in Distell Nigeria and the import business of Distell International Limited in Nigeria.

In November 2021, Heineken announced its intention to acquire control of Distell and Namibia Breweries Limited which were to be combined with Heineken South Africa into a new Heineken majority-owned business. (, 15.11.2021)

In March 2023, the South African Competition Tribunal approved Heineken’s offer, marking the final regulatory approval. This followed approvals from the Namibia Competition Commission, the Common Market of Eastern & Southern Africa, and all other relevant jurisdictions. This paved the way for the creation of a regional African beverage giant to compete on equal terms with South African Breweries, part of AB InBev. (, 9.3.2023)

Hans Essaadi, Managing Director of Nigerian Breweries Plc, emphasized that this move is part of the company’s strategic goal to meet diverse consumer needs and seize growth opportunities in the wines and spirits market. "This acquisition enables us to access a complementary portfolio of fast-growing brands in the wines and spirits segment. We are eager to see how this will transform our business," Essaadi stated.

Steve Ighorimoto, Managing Director of Distell Nigeria, remarked that the acquisition marks an exciting new chapter, enhancing the company’s capacity for improved performance. "Joining Nigerian Breweries, with its track record of growth and a dynamic, experienced team, will strengthen our manufacturing, marketing, and distribution capabilities. This ensures sustainable growth and maximum value for all stakeholders," he said.

Distell Nigeria, known for producing wines and ciders under license from Heineken Beverages, will now enable Nigerian Breweries to engage in local production and import wines, spirits, and flavored alcoholic beverages from South Africa. This includes brands like Amarula Cream Liqueur, Nederburg, Drostdy-Hof, 4th Street, Bain's Whiskey, Knight Whiskey, Scottish Leader Whiskey, Chamdor wine ranges, Hunters, and Savanna.

Last month, Nigerian Breweries, announced plans for a comprehensive restructuring of its operations in response to a range of financial and operational challenges. As part of this restructuring, the company will temporarily close two of its nine plants and adjust capacities in the remaining seven. (, 17.4.2024).

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