Diageo to invest $208m in Nigerian subsidiary

Diageo Plc, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Guinness Overseas Limited announced on Wednesday, Sept. 9th that it intends to increase its shares in Guinness Nigeria Plc by 15.7 percent, up to N41.37 billion naira (£135 million). Guinness Nigeria is a subsidiary of Diageo Plc. The deal would increase Diageo’s stake in the company to 70 percent.

Guinness Nigeria said its parent company, which already owns 54.3 percent of the company has expressed intentions of launching a partial tender offer to existing shareholders and would acquire additional shares on the Nigerian stock exchange at a price of no more than N175 per share.

Diageo would be looking to acquire additional 236.4 million shares and the tender price of N175 represents a 40 percent premium to its market closing price of N124 on Tuesday, Guinness said in a statement.

Shares in Guinness Nigeria, which had lost 25.5 percent of its share value this year rose five percent to close at N131.48 after the announcement.

Diageo said Guinness will continue to be listed on the Nigerian stock exchange after the deal, which is still subject to regulatory approvals.

Diageo’s move comes at a time when fast moving consumer goods companies (FMCG) in the country have seen their fortunes dwindle in the wake of rising competition, weak demand, rising inflation, falling oil price, falling naira and a six-year insurgency in the north of the country.

Multinationals like Anglo-Dutch consumer goods Company Unilever, British drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline and Dutch dairy maker Royal FrieslandCampina have all acquired more stakes in their respective Nigerian units with a firm belief in the country’s future given the relative young population of 170 million people.

Last week Guinness Nigeria reported a 19 percent drop in net profit to N7.8bn, from N9.6bn in the previous year.

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