Heineken’s big African strategy looks set to finally go ahead

By our News Team | 2023

SA’s Competition Tribunal follows its Namibian counterpart by clearing the way for a new local beer and beverages giant to take on AB InBev.

South Africa’s Competition Tribunal has conditionally approved the takeover of the country’s largest liquor firm, Distell, by Dutch-based brewing giant Heineken for around US$2.1-billion.

In a statement released late last week, Heineken noted: “The decision marks the final regulatory approval, following those received from the Namibia Competition Commission, the Common Market of Eastern & Southern Africa and all other relevant jurisdictions. It paves the way for the creation of a regional African beverage champion”.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Photo by Alexandre Cruz from Pexels

In November 2021, Heineken announced its intention to acquire control of Distell and Namibia Breweries Limited, with the intention of combining them with Heineken South Africa to create a new business called Newco. Heineken is to have a 65% shareholding in Newco, which will have its headquarters in South Africa.

Distell’s brands include Durbanville Hills and Nederburg (both wines), Amarula (liquor), Savanna and Hunter’s Dry (both cider). Namibia Breweries brands include Windhoek and Tafel (both beer), Strongbow (cider) and Fruitree (fruit juice).

Heineken’s portfolio includes its well-known Heineken beer brand as well as around 300 international, regional, local and specialty beers. It employs around 85,000 people and operates in approximately 70 countries.

Creation of a ‘regional beverage champion’

“We are delighted the Competition Tribunal has approved the deal. We are very excited to bring together three strong businesses to create a regional beverage champion, with a unique multi-category offer to better serve consumers, customers and create shared societal value across southern Africa,” said Heineken’s CEO and Chairman of the Executive Board, Dolf van den Brink.

“We are committed to being a strong partner for growth and making a positive impact in the communities in which we operate, and the proactive and comprehensive public interest package we’ve put forward is testament to that.” 

Heineken’s ‘public interest package’ includes ongoing business investment, broad-based black economic empowerment, job creation, localisation and supplier development, talent development, and contribution to the economic development of the region.

Analysts say the new business will likely create greater regional competition for Belgian multinational drink and brewing company AB InBev, which owns SABMiller. The latter incorporates South African Breweries (SAB).

Dr Kin Kariisa

Group CEO - Next Media

Dr. Kin Kariisa is an extraordinary force at the helm of Next Media Services, a conglomerate encompassing NBS TV, Nile Post, Sanyuka TV, Next Radio, Salam TV, Next Communication, Next Productions, and an array of other influential enterprises. His dynamic role as Chief Executive Officer exemplifies his unwavering commitment to shaping media, business, and community landscapes.
With an esteemed academic journey, Dr. Kariisa’s accolades include an Honorary PhD in exemplary community service from the United Graduate College inTexas, an MBA from United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a Master’s degree in Computer Engineering from Huazong University in China, and a Bachelor’s degree in Statistics from Makerere University.
Dr. Kariisa pursued PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands. As a dynamic educator, he has shared his expertise as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at both Makerere University and Radboud University.

Dr Kin did his PhD research in Computer Security and Identity Management at Security of Systems Group, Radbond University in Nigmegen, Netherlands. He previously served as a lecturer of e-Government and Information Security at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda and Radbond University in Netherlands.

Dr Kin did his postgraduate courses in Strategic Business Management, Strategic Leadership Communication and Strategies for Leading Successful Change Initiatives at Harvard University, Boston USA.

  • Other current and previous roles played by Dr Kin Kariisa:
  • Lecturer of e-Government and Information Security to graduate students at Makerere University, Kampala and Radbond University in the Netherlands
  • Director of Eco Bank Uganda Limited, one of the largest banks in Africa
  • Chairman of the National Association of Broadcasters, an umbrella industry association for all Television, Radio and online broadcasters in Uganda.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Nile Hotel International, that owns the leading hotel in Uganda, Kampala Serena Hotel.
  • Chairman of Board of Directors of Soliton Telmec Uganda, the leading telecom company in Optic fibre business managing over 80% of optic fibre in Uganda.