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Nigerian Breweries to acquire Sona from Heinekan

By on April 21, 2011

Nigerian Breweries Plc has announced plans to acquire Sona Systems and Life Company from Heinekan NV.

The company, in a statement made available to our correspondent on Wednesday, said this followed recent acquisitions of five companies from the Sona Group by Heineken NV.

The statement said, “Nigerian Breweries Plc has begun discussions with Heineken NV regarding the potential acquisition of three of the five breweries recently acquired from the Sona Group.

“The proposed acquisition is subject to the approval of the board and shareholders of Nigerian Breweries, as well as relevant regulatory authorities.”

It added that the ongoing discussion followed the announcement early this year, that Heineken would “explore the possibility of consolidating the newly- acquired breweries into its existing business structure in Nigeria this year.”

According to the statement, the discussions should lead to the transfer of majority equity interests in Sona Systems Associates Business Management Limited (which owns breweries in Otta and Kaduna) and Life Breweries Company Limited, Onitsha, to Nigerian Breweries.

It noted that Nigerian Breweries believed that the proposed transaction would improve the geographic spread of its operations, and enable it to address existing capacity constraints, while strengthening its platform for future growth.

It added that the negotiations were expected to be concluded in the coming months, with further announcements.

The statement quoted the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr. Nicolaas Vervelde, as saying, “The addition of the breweries we propose to acquire from Heineken will significantly broaden our geographic reach and address the capacity restraints we have currently. As a result of this transaction, Nigerian Breweries will be better positioned for future growth.”

Nigerian Breweries Plc, which was incorporated in 1946, started production in 1949 with Star Lager in Lagos Brewery.

The company currently has 2,300 staff and several others through outsourced businesses.

Nigerian Breweries brews and markets major brands including, Star lager beer, Gulder lager beer, Heineken lager beer, Legend extra stout and Maltina Plc, among others.

The company announced a 7.3 per cent increase in its profit for the financial year ended December 31, 2010, as its result showed that the company made a N44.9bn operating profit as against N41.6bn declared in the 2009 financial year.

Source : Punch