Friday, March 1, 2024

Heineken sells stake in Nigeria's Champion Breweries

Heineken has agreed a deal to sell its interest in Champion Breweries, the Nigeria-based beer business.

The Dutch giant is to offload its majority interest in the Champion Lager owner to EnjoyCorp, a local holding that says it is “building a portfolio of food, beverage and hospitality brands”.

Heineken is selling The Raysun Nigeria Company Limited, which owned an 86.5% stake in publicly-listed Champion Breweries, a business centred around one brewery and based in Uyo.

The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed by Heineken, Champion Breweries nor EnjoyCorp.

A Heineken spokesperson said: “The decision will allow greater focus on our core business in Nigeria, while finding a local investor with the ability to allow Champion to continue its development in the best way to suit local market conditions.”

In 2023, Heineken saw its sales volumes in Nigeria decline at a rate “in the high teens”, the Amstel owner said last month when it reported its annual results.

The group, which owns a 56.7% stake in the also publicly-listed Nigerian Breweries, said the devaluation of the Nigerian naira had fuelled inflation and hit consumers’ spending power.

Heineken’s group beer volumes dropped 4.7% in 2023 and the Amstel owner said two markets “represented more than 60% of the decline” – Vietnam and Nigeria.

In December, Champion Breweries promoted general manager Dr Inalegwu Adoga – a former Coca-Cola HBC and Heineken executive – to the positions of MD and CEO.

The most recently published set of financial accounts for the brewer covers the nine months to the end of September last year.

Revenue during the period fell 6.7% at N8.36bn. Champion Breweries made a loss from operating activities over the nine months of N46.7m ($28,881) – versus a profit of N1.76bn a year earlier – due to the lower sales and higher selling, distribution and admin costs.

It ran up a nine-month net loss of N77.7m, against a profit of N1.26bn in the first nine months of 2022.

The Heineken spokesperson added: “Champion has strong brands and talented people and we believe that the transaction will help secure a sustainable future for the business.”

In a brief statement on the Nigerian Exchange, EnjoyCorp said it expects the deal to be closed in the second quarter.

“The proposed acquisition will mark EnjoyCorp’s strategic entry into the beverage category underpinning the company’s long-term commitment to the African consumer,” it said.

Global Data

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