Heineken’s bid to take control of Distell Group Holdings Limited (Distell) has passed its final regulatory hurdle, with South African Competition Tribunal approving the Dutch brewer’s offer.

After previous approvals from the Namibia Competition Commission, the Common Market of Eastern & Southern Africa and all other relevant jurisdictions, the way is now paved for the creation of a regional African beverage champion.

In November 2021, Heineken announced its intention to acquire control of Distell and Namibia Breweries Limited, which were to be combined with Heineken South Africa (HSA) into a new Heineken majority-owned business (Newco).

Heineken CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board Dolf van den Brink said: “We are delighted the Competition Tribunal has approved the deal. We are very excited to bring together three strong businesses to create a regional beverage champion, with a unique multi-category offer to better serve consumers, customers and create shared societal value across Southern Africa.

“We are committed to being a strong partner for growth and making a positive impact in the communities in which we operate, and the proactive and comprehensive public interest package we’ve put forward is testament to that.”

In a statement Heineken said the approval gives the green light to an ambitious package of public interest commitments, including ongoing business investment, broad-based black economic empowerment, job creation, localisation and supplier development, talent development and contribution to the economic development of the region.

Heineken’s total investment in Newco will be approximately €2.4bn, in return for a 65 per cent shareholding, with the transaction expected to be implemented from April.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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