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Diageo to sell Guinness majority stake to Nigeria’s Tolaram

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The foreign majority shareholder in Guinness Nigeria Plc, Diageo, has agreed to sell its 58.02% controlling stake to Tolaram, a multinational company based in Singapore. This agreement was signed on Tuesday.

Under the terms of the deal, Tolaram will acquire Diageo’s 58.02% shareholding in Guinness Nigeria. They will also enter into long-term license and royalty agreements to continue producing the Guinness brand and other Diageo beverages locally.

Tolaram will make a mandatory tender offer to minority shareholders, which could increase its controlling stake in Guinness Nigeria.

In a regulatory filing at the Nigerian Exchange, the board of Guinness Nigeria mentioned that the transaction is expected to be completed in 2025, pending necessary regulatory approvals in Nigeria.

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“Diageo remains deeply committed to Nigeria and will retain ownership of the Guinness brand, which will be licensed to Guinness Nigeria for the long-term, enabling the next phase of growth and development of Guinness Nigeria under the stewardship of Tolaram,” the company stated.

Tolaram has a significant presence in Africa, being one of the largest consumer packaged goods companies on the continent. They have partnerships with several leading consumer multinational companies. Diageo and Tolaram will work together to continue driving the brand and marketing strategy for Guinness in Nigeria, ensuring long-term growth.

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Guinness Nigeria will remain listed on the NGX after the transaction, although recent similar acquisitions have sometimes led to full takeovers and delistings of companies.

Chairman of Guinness Nigeria, Omobola Johnson, said the acquisition represents a significant opportunity for the company’s growth. “This partnership brings together Tolaram’s deep expertise in manufacturing and distribution, and Diageo’s exceptional capabilities in brand building and innovation. I believe this is a winning combination which leaves Guinness Nigeria extremely well placed to drive further growth in this market,” Johnson said.

Managing Director of Guinness Nigeria, Adebayo Alli, described the announcement as an exciting moment for the company, its employees, and customers. “I look forward to working alongside Tolaram, which is one of the largest and most respected consumer goods companies in Africa, and I am pleased to note Tolaram’s alignment with Guinness Nigeria’s values and its strong commitment to build an enduring and sustainable business,” Alli said.

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Managing Director of Tolaram Africa, Haresh Aswani, expressed excitement about the acquisition. “This strategic move will expand our significant footprint in the Nigerian market and presents an opportunity to leverage our combined strengths to foster innovation and deliver immense value to our customers and shareholders across the nation,” Aswani said.

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