NBL getting bigger and better

Mr Sven Thieme, Executive Chairman, Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies and Mr Wessie Van der Westhuizen, Managing Director, Namibia Breweries Limited. (Photograph by Mandisa Rasmeni)

Ohlthaver & List Group of Companies (O&L) announced that they have agreed to restructure their South African and Namibian joint ventures with Diageo and Heineken International. When the the transaction completes Heineken will have acquired the 15% indirect Diageo owned stake in Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) increasing its indirect ownership to 29.9%. O&L will retain its 30.1% indirect stake therefore continuing to control NBL going forward.

Asked by The Economist, Mr Wessie Van der Westhuizen, Managing Director, Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) said that the volume of migration to Sedibeng is now less than what it was previously. “Our ambitions to take more market share in the South African market together with innovating new brands and introducing other Heineken brands in the South African market will require additional capacities from both NBL and Sedibeng,” said Westhuizen. With regard to operations in South Africa, Diageo will sell its 42.5% stake in DHN Drinks (Proprietary)Limited which will result in Heineken increasing its stake to 75% and NBL increasing its stake to 25%. “The new JV will continue to produce ready to drink in both Sedibeng and NBL,” stated Westhuizen. He added that they will not be producing a cheaper Nambrew beer because the repositioning of the total beer portfolio of Heineken and NBL brands will not require it at this stage.
Mr Sven Thieme, Executive Chairman, O&L said that they are proud to have worked together with two world class organisations, Diageo and Heineken from which they have benefited in terms of expertise and know how. “We have significantly grown our beer portfolio in South Africa and Namibia and are excited to enter into a new partnership with Heineken to take our beer portfolio growth aspiration to the next level,” said Sven. He added that the region has strong demographics and compelling prospects for future growth, and that they look forward to this next stage of their journey.
The beer market is expected to grow by approximately 1.5% per annum from its current size of 30 million hectolitres to an estimated potential of 35 million hectolitres by 2024.
Thieme also stated that they do not have plans to be in the Johannesburg Stock Exchange yet, saying they are taking it step by step. “You never know what will happen it the future, but we have a vision,” he added.
Namibia and South Africa also have exchange programmes, from which they learn skills from each other.