Heineken targets controlling stake in NBL

Heineken NV has made an offer to increase its stake in Namibian Breweries Limited (NBL), as the Dutch brewer seeks to consolidate its footprint in Africa.

Heineken NV has offered to buy Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies (O&L)'s 50.01% stake in NBL Investment Holdings (Proprietary) Limited (NBLIH), the controlling shareholder with a 59.4% shareholding in Namibian Breweries Limited (NBL).

Heineken already owns a 49.99% interest in NBLIH and will become the majority shareholder of the brewer on completion of the transaction in 2022.

“Following a series of meetings and consultations with the relevant parties, as well as in-depth thinking over a long period of time, the O&L Group - with its majority shareholding in NBL - has reached consensus to unleash the unlimited potential of our flagship business, by letting NBL out of its nest to spread its wings and rightfully earn its deserved space in the global arena,” O&L Executive Chairman and Chairperson of the NBL Board of Directors, Sven Thieme said of the transaction which is still subject to regulatory approval.

“We appreciate the immense pride and love that Namibians and all of us share for our iconic brands that have become synonymous with Namibian pride. This was not an easy decision; however, we are confident that this transaction will unlock unprecedented opportunity, synergy and scale to the business, its people and brands, our country and the region as a whole.”

He said NBL will still retain its listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) on completion of the deal.

“NBL shareholders and stakeholders will enjoy all the benefits of being part of a global beer business with world-class systems, synergies and route to market. The opportunities for brands born and bred in Namibia will include having access to global platforms that come with being part of a trusted international company like Heineken,” he said.

Cirrus Capital’s Rome Mostert commenting on Heineken’s offer told The Brief that while the deal was good for the companies involved, it doesn’t bode well for the country.

“I think it’s a good deal for NBL shareholders in the short term, but not in the long term and also not so good in the interest of Namibia.”

This comes as Heineken has also offered to buy NBL’s 25% shareholding in Heineken South Africa (RF) Proprietary Limited for N$5.4 billion.

Proceeds from the transactions will be declared as a special dividend to NBL’s current shareholders.

NBL had appointed an independent board consisting of former Standard Namibia CEO, Vetumbuavi Mungunda and Afra Schimming-Chase to evaluate the offer.

“NBL has received an offer from Heineken, subject to the successful completion of certain conditions, to acquire Distell Namibia. The NBL board of directors is considering the merits of this offer and has not yet made a determination whether or not to accept it,” the company announced on Monday.

NBL Managing Director, Marco Wenk, said the developments were testimony to the trust that NBL has established, the equity of its brands, and the confidence in NBL and its future as a global beer business. 

“Should Heineken International become the controlling shareholder of NBL, this would result in a new phase of growth for NBL’s brands, supported by a significantly enhanced platform in South Africa and a stronger capability in Africa. Should the Distell Namibia acquisition proceed, NBL will be the exclusive partner of Newco in Namibia across all alcoholic beverage products controlled by Newco,” he said.  

Heineken plans to combine the Namibia business with Heineken South Africa into a new Heineken majority owned business with a total valuation of about €4 billion.

“With NBL we see exciting opportunities to expand premium beer and cider in Namibia and grow the iconic Windhoek brand beyond its home market. The businesses share common values derived from their family heritage, long-term perspectives, entrepreneurial spirit, and respect for people and planet. Together we commit to being a strong partner for growth in Africa and to make a positive impact in the communities in which we operate,” Heinkeken’s President, Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe, Roland Pirmez said.


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Last modified on Wednesday, 17 November 2021 19:19

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