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Guinness announces plan to quit Nigeria after 75 years

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After operating in Nigeria since 1950 and enduring harsh economic climate on the back of President Bola Tinubu’s administration, Guinness has announced it will leave the Nigerian market and sell off its controlling shares to Singaporean conglomerate Tolaram Group on Tuesday.

The long-term investor has joined a long list of multinationals, like GlaxoSmithKline and Microsoft, that have left Nigeria, citing the harsh economic climate in the country.

Guinness Nigeria recorded a staggering N61.9 billion loss after tax between July 2023 and March 2024, just a few months after Mr Tinubu floated the naira in an effort to unify the currency’s value on the official and parallel foreign exchange markets.

Guinness Nigeria’s N61.7 billion loss after tax in Q3 was a 1,000 per cent decrease from the N5.9 billion profit generated in the same period last year leading Diageo, Guinness’ parent company, to sell its 58.02 per cent majority stake to the Singaporean group.

“Under the terms of an agreement signed today, 11 June 2024, Tolaram will acquire Diageo’s 58.02% shareholding in Guinness Nigeria royalty agreements for the continued production of the Guinness brand and its locally manufactured Diageo ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits brands,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

“The transaction is expected to be completed during fiscal 2025, subject to obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals in Nigeria,” said the statement signed by Abidemi Ademola, Guinness’s legal director.

Diageo “will retain ownership of the Guinness brand, which will be licensed to Guinness Nigeria for the long term.”

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