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Heineken buys Distell to become beverage leader in South Africa

Heineken has revealed plans to buy South African wine and spirits maker Distell Group Holdings in a €2.2 billion deal.

The acquisition, which also sees Heineken gain control of Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) and Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies (O&L), integrates the businesses into one “enlarged” company. As a result, the final Heineken majority-owned business will have a total valuation of approximately €4 billion.

Heineken’s CEO and chairman of the executive board Dolf van den Brink said: “We are very excited to bring together three strong businesses to create a regional beverage champion, perfectly positioned to capture significant growth opportunities in Southern Africa. Distell is a highly regarded, resilient business with leading brands, a talented workforce and a strong track record of innovation and growth in Africa. With NBL, there are exciting opportunities to expand premium beer and cider in Namibia and grow the iconic Windhoek brand beyond its home market. Together we will be able to better serve our consumers and customers through a unique combination of multi-category leading brands and a strengthened route-to-market.”

Distell CEO Richard Rushton added: “Together, this partnership has the potential to leverage the strength of Heineken’s global footprint with our leading brands to create a formidable, diverse beverage company for Africa. I am excited for what lies ahead as we look to combine our strong and popular brands and highly complementary geographical footprints to create a world class African company in the alcohol beverage sector. Our combined entity will grow our local expertise and insights to better serve consumers across the region.”

Finalisation of the deal is subject to regulatory and shareholder approvals. Upon completion, Heineken will contribute these acquired assets plus its 75% directly-owned shareholding in HSA and other fully-owned export operations in Africa, into an unlisted public holding company (referred to as Newco).

Heineken will own a minimum of 65% of Newco, with the remainder held by Distell shareholders who elect to reinvest.

The full acquisition is expected to complete in the course of 2022.

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