NB’s N600b rights to settle FX losses, local bank debt facility

•As shareholders resolve to fully pay portion of shares

Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc has disclosed that the proposed N600 billion recapitalisation scheme by way of rights issue would settle N153 billion outstanding foreign exchange (FX) losses and part of its local bank debt facility.

At the company’s Pre-AGM Press Conference held in Lagos yesterday, the Managing Director, Hans Essaadi, said the additional capital would help eliminate the naira devaluation risk, huge forex losses and reduction of the huge interest burden.

Already, the majority shareholder (Heineken N.V) has indicated its readiness to support the recapitalisation programe and to take up and pay for its portion of the shares of up to 57 per cent that would be allotted to it.

Essaadi said the company is currently exploring various options to improve the company’s financial position and restore it to a path of sustainable profitability soo

Given this, he said the company has adopted a strong cost management measure, in addition to ensuring that it optimises operations in areas of high visibility.

According to him, the company during the review period has executed the transactions the transaction document with Heineken Beverages (Holdings) Limited of South Africa for the acquisition of 80 per cent equity stake in Distell Wines and Spirits Nigeria and 100 per cent of Heineken Beverages import business in Nigeria.

Essaadi pointed out that the final part of the transactions is being completed at the South African end, adding that the transaction would be completed by the second quarter of this year.

He also described the transaction as a strategic acquisition that would provide a complimentary multi-category portfolio and strengthen its market share in the beverage market and enhance the firm’s long-term profitability.

“We are committed to maintaining resilience in the face of adversity. We are confident that the company remains in a good position to weather the storm, We will sustain a strong cost management culture and further optimise our operational footprint, keep winning in the market by leveraging our strong portfolio, exciting innovations and route to consume,” he said.

On the suspension of operations in its two communities (Awo-mamma and Kakuri), the company secretary, Uaboi Agbebaku said the decision is for the time being, adding that the company would be ready to get the plants back to operations as the economy recovers and at the appropriate time.

He said the company would sustain its empowerment scheme in both communities, support training and funding for micro agro-businesses, construct an oil palm mill in Awo-Omamma and actively engage youths in both communities.

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