Shareholders support Guinness’ new N40bn rights issue

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L-R Non Executive Director, Mr. Bismarck 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 on Tuesday January 24 2017

Shareholders of Guinness Nigeria Plc have approval the company’s proposed N40 billion rights issue. The company got the nod on Tuesday at its Extra-Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) which took place in Lagos.

Speaking on the meeting, Chairman, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Babatunde Savage, 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. Rights issue offers existing shareholders of a company the opportunity to buy a specified percentage of the company’s ordinary shares based on the* number of shares they currently hold in the company.

With the approval of its shareholders, the company is now in a position to raise up to N40 billion as fresh cash injection into the business operations.

Guinness Managing Director/CEO, Peter Ndegwa, said the company has good fundamentals and potential for the future.

He said “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.

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