Tinubu Hails Tolaram as Company Seals Deal with Diageo to Acquire 58.02% Guinness Nigeria Shares

Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja and Dike Onwuamaeze in Lagos

Tolaram has entered into an agreement with Diageo to acquire 58.02 per cent controlling shares of Guinness Nigeria Plc with a long term commitment to continue the production of the Guinness brand and its locally manufactured Diageo ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits brands.

Owing to the development, President Bola Tinubu hailed the Singaporean business conglomerate for believing in Nigeria and having absolute faith in her economy.

The signing of the agreement was announced yesterday, by the Legal Director/Company Secretary of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Abidemi Ademola, in a press release titled, “Tolaram to Acquire Diageo’s Shareholding in Guinness Nigeria Plc.” 

It stated: “Under the terms of an agreement signed today, June 11, 2024, Tolaram will acquire Diageo’s 58.02 per cent shareholding in Guinness Nigeria, and enter into long-term licence and royalty agreements for the continued production of the Guinness brand and its locally manufactured Diageo ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits brands.”

She explained that the transaction was expected to be completed during Fiscal 2025, subject to obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals in Nigeria.

According to her, “Diageo remains deeply committed to Nigeria and will retain ownership of the Guinness brand, which will be licenced to Guinness Nigeria for the long-term, enabling the next phase of growth and development of Guinness Nigeria under the stewardship of Tolaram.”

The statement explained that Tolaram, which has had a five-decade presence in Africa, remains one of the largest consumer packaged goods companies on the continent and has forged joint venture partnerships with several leading consumer multinational companies.

It further stated that, “in partnership with Guinness Nigeria and Tolaram, Diageo will continue to drive the brand and marketing strategy for Guinness in Nigeria, to ensure Diageo’s exceptional capabilities in brand building and innovation continue to drive long-term growth for Guinness in Nigeria.”

It added: “Following completion of this transaction, Guinness Nigeria will remain listed on the Nigerian Exchange Limited, and subject to regulatory approvals, Tolaram intends to launch a mandatory takeover offer in compliance with local law requirements.”

Commenting on the agreement between Tolaram and Diageo, the Board Chairman of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, described the development as a significant opportunity for the next phase of growth for Guinness Nigeria.

Johnson added: “This partnership brings together Tolaram’s deep expertise in manufacturing and distribution, and Diageo’s exceptional capabilities in brand building and innovation.

“I believe this is a winning combination which leaves Guinness Nigeria extremely well placed to drive further growth in this market.”

Speaking in the same vein, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Adebayo Alli, said: “Today’s announcement marks an exciting moment for Guinness Nigeria, our employees and our customers.

“I look forward to working alongside Tolaram, which is one of the largest and most respected consumer goods companies in Africa, and I am pleased to note Tolaram’s alignment with Guinness Nigeria’s values and its strong commitment to build an enduring and sustainable business.”

The Managing Director, Tolaram Africa, Mr. Haresh Aswani, said his organisation was “thrilled to welcome Guinness Nigeria, a company with such a rich legacy and strong consumer loyalty, into our ecosystem.

“This strategic move will expand our significant footprint in the Nigerian market and presents an opportunity to leverage our combined strengths to foster innovation and deliver immense value to our customers and shareholders across the nation.”

Meanwhile, Tinubu has hailed the Indonesian business conglomerate, the Tolaram Group, for believing in Nigeria and having absolute faith in her economy.

The Special Adviser to the President on Information & Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, asserted this yesterday in a statement.

Onanuga quoted President Tinubu as saying that by acquiring Diageo’s shares in Guinness, Tolaram, which has been doing business in Nigeria in the last 50 years, had shown that it has a long-term view of doing business in Nigeria.

He said in choosing to expand its investment footprints in Nigeria, Tolaram had demonstrated strong faith and confidence in Nigeria’s economy.

 He said Tinubu welcomed Tolaram to the beverage sector of Nigeria’s business landscape and hopes the group’s business will continue to flourish.

“President Tinubu gives assurances to investors and Nigeria’s businesses, promising that his government will continue to make the operating environment more conducive and transparent.”

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