African Markets

Heineken offers to Distell, partnership with various brands

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Heineken has launched a €2.2 billion (R38.5 billion) offer for Distell, which owns brands such as Nederburg, JC le Roux, Klipdrift, Amarula, Savanna, and Hunters Dry, six months after initially announcing its interest in an acquisition of the company.

After Anheuser-Busch InBev, the Dutch company Heineken is the world’s second-largest brewer. Distell will be split into two entities as a result of its offer.

Distell’s cider and other ready-to-drink beverages, as well as spirits and wine brands, will be amalgamated with Heineken’s Southern African business and the Dutch group’s stake in Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL), which owns Windhoek and Tafel, to form a new company called “Newco.”

Heineken said on Monday that it has made an offer to Ohlthaver & List to buy a 50.01 percent stake in NBL. The rest of the corporation is already owned by Heineken. Heineken plans to own at least 65 percent of Newco, with the rest going to Distell shareholders who choose to reinvest.

Heineken has pledged to empower Newco’s operations by at least 15% in terms of B BBEE ownership. Distell shareholders can choose between receiving R165 in cash per share or receiving unlisted Newco shares, or a mix of the two.

Following that, shares in Capevin, which includes Distell’s other remaining brands, including its Scotch whisky operation, will be unbundled, with Distell shareholders receiving R15 per Capevin share.

Heineken’s offer to Distell shareholders totals R180 per share, which is less than the R182.59 share price on Friday. However, Heineken claims that the offer is 35% more than Distell’s average share price in the month leading up to 17 May, when it first disclosed that it is exploring a purchase.

The share price of Distell fell 5% to R173.52 in early trade on Monday. In a statement, Remgro, which owns around 30% of Distell, said it will vote in favour of Heineken’s deal, and that it intends to elect to receive Newco shares in exchange for its Distell shares.

It also won’t accept the cash offer for Capevin shares, and will therefore hold a controlling shareholding in the business, it added.

Story by : Norvisi Mawunyegah