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Nigeria: Diageo to divest majority stake in Guinness Nigeria

British multinational alcoholic beverage company Diageo has agreed to sell its 58 percent majority shareholding in Guinness Nigeria to Singapore-based Tolaram Group, according to an announcement made by Guinness on Tuesday.

As part of the transaction, both parties will enter into long-term license and royalty agreements. These agreements will ensure the continued production of the Guinness brand and Diageo’s locally manufactured ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits brands.

Tolaram has a history of successful joint venture partnerships with several multinational consumer goods companies, including Colgate-Palmolive and Kellanova. With half a century of experience operating in Africa, Tolaram has established itself as a leading consumer packaged goods company on the continent.

“Today’s announcement represents a significant opportunity for the next phase of growth for Guinness Nigeria,” said Omobola Johnson, chair of Guinness Nigeria.

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

Diageo’s decision to sell its stake in Guinness Nigeria aligns with a broader trend of multinational firms exiting or scaling back their investments in the country. This trend is driven by a prolonged foreign exchange shortage and the highest price levels in 28 years, which have made the business environment increasingly challenging.

Over the past year, FMCG giants such as P&G, GSK, Unilever, and Sanofi have either left Nigeria or significantly reduced their operations.

Guinness stated that the deal is expected to be finalized during the fiscal year 2025, pending regulatory approvals.

As part of the agreement, Diageo will retain ownership of the Guinness brand, which will be licensed to Guinness Nigeria on a long-term basis.

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