Diageo Moves to acquire 70% equity in Guinness Nigeria

Diageo Plc, the world’s biggest distiller, is considering raising its majority stake in brewer Guinness Nigeria Plc to 70 percent, a deal that could cost the company more than $200 million.

The maker of Johnnie Walker whisky and Smirnoff vodka plans to make a tender offer of 175 naira a share to raise its shareholding from 54.3 percent, Lagos, Nigeria-based Guinness Nigeria said in a statement on Wednesday. That would require payment of 41.38 billion naira ($208 million). Guinness
Nigeria shares gained 5 percent to 131.48 naira as of 1 p.m. in Lagos, valuing the brewer at 198 billion naira.

The company, however, stressed that Wednesday’s announcement was of Guinness Overseas intention and did not constitute the announcement of an offer itself and creates no obligation on Guinness Overseas or Diageo to make an offer.

“Accordingly, we wish to advise Guinness Nigeria’s shareholders that there can be no certainty that any offer will be made, nor as to the price or terms of any offer that may be made,” it added

The company, which said further developments would be communicated to shareholders in due course, said the proposed partial tender offer would be subject to requisite regulatory approvals, including those of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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