Heineken global boss reassures Geingob over NBL deal

Heineken NV, the Dutch brewing company, has reiterated its commitment to localising production in Namibia following its recent acquisition of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) and Distell Holdings Limited. The move is expected to boost the economy, procurement chain, and provide employment opportunities.

During a courtesy visit to President Hage Geingob on Friday, Heineken International Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Dolf van den Brink, confirmed that Heineken would merge NBL and Distell to make it a larger company with a full portfolio of Namibian beer brands, ciders, wines and spirits.

Brink stated that the company will localise production in Namibia and empower SMEs to grow and transform into standardised institutions in line with Heineken requirements.

He also announced that N$25 million will be earmarked for SME development for the next five years.

“We are going to localise production. As we stand Distell still imports from South Africa, therefore we are going local in as much as we can in our manufacturing footprint here in Namibia and for the years to come," he said.

"This we believe will be good for the consumers as they will have a variety of choices and eventually good for the economy as we localise production within. We intend to be here for generations and not only years, and through time you will get to know we are good corporate citizen.”

In reassuring President Geingob, Brink emphasised that Namibia would maintain its heritage of NBL and that not much would change. "The name will remain the same, we don't intend to change anything, we shall build on the legacy of O&L's NBL legacy, because this is a proud company whose name is associated with all Namibians," Brink said.

President Geingob welcomed the commitment to localising production in Namibia and creating jobs, adding that it was important to keep the government informed to develop and industrialise the country. "Now that you have it, don't take it to Holland," Geingob joked.

To this the Heineken CEO said, "it may seem as if everything is Heineken Beer, but from what it trades globally, Heineken beer constitutes only 25% while the rest is formed by native brews in such countries we operate. Therefore, us taking over NBL means we shall expose Windhoek Lager and Windhoek draught to more markets, with the brand that shortly."

Heineken has been in Namibia since 2003 as the second largest investor in NBL when partnered with O&L. According to Brink, the acquisition of NBL and Distell is the biggest investment Heineken has undertaken in a decade.

Petrus Maria Johannes Simons was last month appointed the  Managing Director of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) with effect from 14 April 2023,  taking over from Marco Wenk, who resigned from the position following the completion of the deal.

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Last modified on Monday, 08 May 2023 20:01

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