Heineken completes acquisition of Distell and Namibia Breweries: launching Heineken Beverages

By Rachel Arthur

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Heineken South africa Beer Africa

The newly formed Heineken Beverages will seek to capture 'significant growth opportunities' in Southern Africa.

Announced in 2021, Heineken’s acquisition of Distell Group Holdings Limited and Namibia Breweries Limited has now been officially combined with Heineken South Africa into the new Heineken majority-owned business.

Distell is Africa’s leading producer and marketer of ciders, flavored alcoholic beverages, wine and spirits. Namibia Breweries Limited is behind the regional premium beer Windhoek.

The acquisitions bring in 5,400 employees from Distell and Namibia Breweries and will add more than €1bn ($1.1bn) in net revenue and €150m ($165m) operating profit to Heineken’s African footprint.

Heineken CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board Dolf van den Brink said: “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.”

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

Africa accounted for 7% of global beer volume in 2019: and yet beer consumption is only half of the global average. But with the 20-39 year old demographic set to double by 2050, Heineken expects to see continued growth of the middle class and interest in premium products.

In South Africa – where Heineken is already #2 in the market – the company’s beer products will benefit from increased scale and continued premiumization, alongside additional products outside of beer. And a key advantage from the acquisition is that it will be able to ‘unlock the full potential of its beer portfolio’, which had been held back by limited distribution.

Following agreement with the Competition Authorities in South Africa, HEINEKEN Beverages will now move ahead with a ‘significant public interest package’ which includes:

  • An investment plan of more than €500m over five years.
  • Investing more than €250m towards the construction of a new brewery and maltery.
  • Establishing a €20m supplier development fund and contributing €10m towards a localisation and growth fund in South Africa over five years.
  • Creating an Innovation and Research & Development (R&D) hub for the region.
  • Implementing a ‘Tavern Transformation’ programme which will support around 1,000 tavern owners to become licensed, sustainable local enterprises over a five-year period.

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