British firm Diageo seeks Sh22.7bn extra stake in EABL

Beer production line at the EABL plant in Ruaraka, Nairobi. FILE PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

British multinational Diageo is seeking to acquire an additional 14.97 percent stake in East African Breweries Limited (EABL) worth about Sh22.7 billion, which will see its shareholding rise to 65 percent.

The world’s largest spirits maker said Friday it wants to buy 118.4 million shares at an offer price of Sh192 each, a 40 percent premium over the market price.

The stock closed at Sh138 on Thursday at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). The announcement saw the stock price trading at Sh170 as at 2.05 pm Friday.

“Diageo Kenya proposes to acquire up to an additional 118,394,897 ordinary shares in EABL representing no more than 14.97 percent of the issued share capital of the EABL through the tender offer,” reads the statement.

The London-based firm indirectly holds a 50.03 percent stake, representing 395.6 million shares, in EABL through its wholly-owned subsidiary Diageo Kenya.

The British drinks group has been increasing its stakes in African breweries following an increase in the consumption of beer and spirits. Last year, the firm acquired an additional 30 percent stake in EABL's Tanzanian subsidiary, Serengeti Breweries Limited, for Sh5.98 billion, raising its ownership to 85 percent.

The deal for the additional stake in the Tanzanian unit followed another acquisition of four percent in July 2019 for $3 million, raising the brewer’s stake to 55 percent.

Diageo acquired the EABL controlling stake from its subsidiary Guinness in 2000.

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