Heineken, Diageo end joint ventures in South Africa, Namibia


Dutch brewer Heineken and spirits maker Diageo have agreed to end their 11-year cooperation in South Africa and Namibia in a series of deals to disentangle joint ventures.

Diageo said in a statement it would receive net cash of 2.5 billion rand ($198.4 million) from the transactions that were expected to be completed by the end of the year. Heineken said the overall cost to it would be 1.9 billion rand.

Diageo, whose brands include Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, said it had become market leader in spirits in South Africa with a 40 percent share and felt it had the necessary scale to go at it alone.


South Africa is Diageo’s fifth largest spirits market by volume.

Heineken, the world’s third-largest brewer, said it would increase its stake in DHN Drinks, the entity holding the licences for the drinks portfolios, to 75 percent, with Namibia Breweries Ltd (NBL) owning the other 25 percent.

The two would also own the same stakes in the Sedibeng brewery in Gauteng, Johannesburg, which was built in 2009.

Heineken and NBL have agreed a new joint venture in South Africa, the region’s biggest beer market which is seen growing at about 1.5 percent per year.

Heineken would also take Diageo’s 15 percent stake in NBL, increasing its indirect ownership to 29.9 percent.

($1 = 12.5984 rand)