Diageo exists Nigeria, divests Guinness shares to Tolaram Group

Diageo exists Nigeria, divests Guinness shares to Tolaram Group

Singaporean multinational, Tolaram Group has agreed to acquire Diageo’s 58.02 percent shareholding in Guinness Nigeria Plc.

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Singaporean multinational, Tolaram Group has agreed to acquire Diageo’s 58.02 percent shareholding in Guinness Nigeria Plc.

Guinness announced this development through a press release on the Nigerian Exchange Group, NGX.

This announcement is the latest in a series of major multinational organizations exiting the country, citing challenging economic conditions.

The transaction, expected to close in fiscal 2025 pending regulatory approvals, will also involve Tolaram entering into long-term licensing and royalty agreements to continue producing the iconic Guinness brand, along with Diageo’s ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits locally.

Based on its current share price of N50.5 per share, Guinness has a market capitalization of N110.7 billion, suggesting the deal could exceed N64 billion.

While Diageo is selling its controlling stake, it will retain ownership of the Guinness brand, ensuring its legacy continues under Tolaram’s stewardship.  

The company said this move aligns with Diageo’s strategic vision to retain brand influence while leveraging Tolaram’s extensive distribution and manufacturing capabilities.

With over fifty years in Africa, Tolaram is one of the continent’s leading consumer packaged goods companies. Its successful joint ventures with prominent multinational corporations have solidified its reputation as a trusted partner in the African market.

The acquisition also signifies a significant expansion of Tolaram’s presence in Nigeria, promising increased innovation and value for both customers and shareholders.

Omobola Johnson, Board Chair of Guinness Nigeria, hailed the deal as a pivotal moment for the company.

“This partnership brings together Tolaram’s deep expertise in manufacturing and distribution with Diageo’s exceptional brand-building and innovation capabilities. It positions Guinness Nigeria for robust growth in this dynamic market,” she said.

Adebayo Alli, Managing Director and CEO of Guinness Nigeria echoed these sentiments, expressing enthusiasm for the collaboration. “This announcement marks an exciting chapter for Guinness Nigeria. Tolaram’s alignment with our values and commitment to sustainability and enduring business success bodes well for our future,” Alli stated.

Haresh Aswani, Managing Director of Tolaram Africa, expressed his excitement about the strategic acquisition. “Welcoming Guinness Nigeria, a company with such a rich legacy and strong consumer loyalty, into our ecosystem is thrilling. This move will expand our significant footprint in the Nigerian market and leverage our combined strengths to foster innovation,” Aswani noted.

Diageo’s choice to divest its controlling stake in Guinness Nigeria reflects a wider pattern observed among multinational corporations operating in Nigeria. Over the past few years, numerous major multinational organizations, MNOs, have departed from the Nigerian market amid challenging economic circumstances.

Recently, both Kimberly-Clark and GlaxoSmithKline, GSK, exited Nigeria, citing economic challenges as their primary reasons for withdrawal.

However, Diageo’s approach diverges significantly from that of its counterparts. Rather than a complete withdrawal, Diageo has chosen to transfer control to Tolaram, a company with a significant presence and profound understanding of the Nigerian market.