L-R Non Executive Director, Mr. Bismark Rewane; Vice-Chairman and President, Diageo Africa, Mr John O’Keffe; Company Secretary, Mr. Rotimi Odusola; Chairman, Mr. Babatunde Savage, all of Guinness Nigeria Plc at the Extra Ordinary General Meeting of the company which held at the Oriental Hotel, Lagos state on Tuesday.

By Oladapo Okeowo

Guinness Nigeria has secured the approval of its shareholders to raise N40bn capital through rights issue, Concise News gathers.

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This was made known in a press statement issued at the end of the company’s Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Tuesday at the prestigious Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos.

The beverage giant, a subsidiary of Diageo Group, in 2016 made known its intention to offer a Rights Issue as part of plans to optimise its balance sheet and improve its financial flexibility.

Having gotten the approval of its shareholders on Tusday, the company is now in a position to raise up to N40bn as fresh cash injection into the business operations.

Full press release

Guinness Nigeria Plc, held its Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) on Tuesday, 24th January 2017 and received the approval of its shareholders for a proposed Rights Issue. The meeting which took place in Lagos was well attended by local shareholders and representatives of international shareholders. In addition to the Rights Issue, all other company resolutions were passed at the event.

Speaking on the meeting, Babatunde Savage, Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc, said: “Guinness Nigeria has been in this country for over 60 years and, in that time, we have continued to add significant economic and social value to Nigeria and Nigerians. We believe this Rights Issue will positively impact on the financial performance of Guinness Nigeria and help mitigate the impact of increasing finance costs in what continues to be a challenging economic environment in Nigeria. I call on all my fellow shareholders to take this opportunity and support the company’s objectives.”

Guinness Nigeria Plc which is a subsidiary of Diageo plc, had announced at the end of 2016, its intention to offer a Rights Issue as part of plans to optimise its balance sheet and improve its financial flexibility. With the approval of its shareholders, the company is now in a position to raise up to N40bn as fresh cash injection into the business operations.

Also speaking at the meeting, Peter Ndegwa, Managing Director/CEO, Guinness Nigeria Plc said that the company has good fundamentals and potentials for the future. “Guinness Nigeria is a company with excellent fundamentals and we have the right strategy and the right people to grow our business for the future. This Rights Issue in combination with our productivity and cost optimization drive will help provide the fuel to continue to build this business for Nigeria and Nigerians.”

Guinness Nigeria Plc last year became the first total beverage company in Nigeria when it acquired rights to distribute international premium spirits like Johnnie Walker and Baileys in Nigeria in January 2016 and later commissioned a spirits line for locally manufactured spirits at its Benin plant in November. This week, the company is also expected to release its first half results for the 6-month period ended 31st December 2016.