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Heineken completes Distell and Namibia Breweries acquisition

Heineken has acquired Distell and Namibia Breweries in a deal that combines them to create a new business arm named Heineken Beverages.

The rebranding to Heineken Beverages “reflects the new company’s multi-category portfolio and commitment to deliver high-quality beverages to consumers across the continent”.

Speaking about the completion of the acquisition, Heineken CEO and chairman of the executive board Dolf van den Brink said: “We are delighted to welcome over 5,400 talented employees of Distell and Namibia Breweries into Heineken and look forward to adding more than €1 billion in net revenue and €150 million operating profit to our African footprint. By combining the strengths of all three entities, we can leverage our expertise and resources to foster growth, create jobs, and contribute to the overall economic development of the region.”

Following deal with the Competition Authorities in South Africa, Heineken Beverages will now move ahead with a “significant public interest package” within South Africa which is set to include: “An ambitious investment plan of more than €500m over five years” along with a strategy to begin “investing more than €250m towards the construction of a new brewery and maltery”.

Additionally, the business aims to start “establishing a €20m supplier development fund and contributing €10m towards a localisation and growth fund in South Africa over five years” as well as create “an innovation and research and development hub for the region” and implement what it is calling “a ‘tavern transformation’ programme which will support around 1,000 tavern owners to become licensed, sustainable local enterprises over a five-year period.”

The move is set to bolster Heineken’s position in Africa where Distell has prominence within the wine and spirits categories and gains traction with its popular Amarula brand as well as having notable presence with its Hunter’s and Savanna ciders while Namibia Breweries is the beer market leader in Namibia with its Windhoek lager leading the way.

Heineken initially revealed plans to acquire control of Distill Group and Namibia Breweries back in November 2021 but the deal met friction due to its ownership of Strongbow in South Africa creating a competition issue. In order to resolve competition issues, Heineken proposed to divest Strongbow in the region in order to go through with the acquisition.

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