Guinness Nigeria Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading beverage makers and a subsidiary of one of the world’s largest producer of alcoholic beverages, Diageo Plc, has acquired the distribution rights of Diageos’s International Premium Spirits (IPS) brands in Nigeria. This deal would see Diageo expand its operations in Nigeria for many years to come.

“The integration of the Diageo IPS brands with the Guinness Nigeria brand portfolio best fits our strategy of filling the gap in our total beverage alcohol portfolio and allows us to compete across segments within the market,” said  Peter Ndegwa, Guinness Nigeria Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.

This comes after the Diageo, makers of  Guinness beer, Smirnoff vodka and Johnnie Walker whisky terminated its joint partnership with Heineken and Namibia Breweries in South Africa and Namibia.

Diageo currently operates in 16 African countries and expects the continent to account for 20 percent of its sales, after investing more than $1 billion in the continent over the past five years, said Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Menezes.

The acquisition, worth N2.35 billion, would see Guinness Nigeria take over various Diageo assets, including Diageo Brands Nigeria Limited, the wholly-owned business currently marketing and distributing the IPS brands in Nigeria.

Peter Ndegwa also said that the distribution rights agreement would facilitate the company’s ambition to be the most trusted and respected consumer products company in Nigeria.

Diageo currently holds a 54.3 percent shareholding in Guinness Nigeria. However, Guinness Nigeria has notified its shareholders that the transaction is still subject to normal regulatory approvals but is expected to become effective on January 1, 2016.

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