Diageo, owners of Guinness, sell majority shareholding in Nigeria to Tolaram

Tolaram Group has signed an agreement to acquire Diageo's 58.02% shareholding in Guinness Nigeria PLC, several decades after the latter began operations in the Nigerian market.

Diageo, owners of Guinness, sell majority shareholding in Nigeria to Tolaram

The landmark deal was announced in a communiqué issued by Guinness Nigeria PLC dated June 11, 2024. Giageo confirmed the transaction in a press release on its website.

This strategic acquisition will also see Tolaram enter into long-term licence and royalty agreements for the continued production of the iconic Guinness brand and other locally manufactured Diageo ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits brands. The completion of this transaction is anticipated in Fiscal 2025, pending requisite regulatory approvals in Nigeria.

Despite the sale, Diageo will retain ownership of the Guinness brand, which will be licensed to Guinness Nigeria on a long-term basis. This arrangement is set to usher in a new era of growth and development for Guinness Nigeria under Tolaram’s stewardship. Diageo, which remains deeply committed to the Nigerian market, will continue to drive the brand and marketing strategy for Guinness in collaboration with Tolaram, leveraging its unparalleled capabilities in brand building and innovation.

Tolaram, with a presence in Africa spanning over five decades, is one of the continent’s largest consumer packaged goods companies. It has established joint venture partnerships with several leading consumer multinational companies. This new partnership with Guinness Nigeria marks another significant milestone in Tolaram’s expansion across the Nigerian market.

Following the completion of the transaction, Guinness Nigeria will remain listed on the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. Tolaram has also announced plans to launch a mandatory takeover offer, in compliance with local legal requirements, subject to regulatory approvals.

Omobola Johnson, Board Chair of Guinness Nigeria, hailed the agreement as a pivotal moment for the company's future. "Today's announcement represents a significant opportunity for the next phase of growth for Guinness Nigeria. 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," she said.

Adebayo Alli, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Guinness Nigeria, expressed enthusiasm for the new collaboration. "Today's announcement marks an exciting moment for Guinness Nigeria, our employees, and our 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 building an enduring and sustainable business," he stated.

Haresh Aswani, Managing Director of Tolaram Africa, echoed these sentiments, emphasising the strategic benefits of the acquisition. "We are thrilled to welcome Guinness Nigeria, a company with such a rich legacy and strong consumer loyalty, into our ecosystem. 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.

As Tolaram and Diageo embark on this new chapter with Guinness Nigeria, stakeholders and market watchers alike are optimistic about the enhanced growth and innovation that this partnership promises to bring to Nigeria’s dynamic beverage sector.

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