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Nigerian Breweries Buys Sona and Life to Expand Capacity

Nigerian Breweries Plc (NB), the country’s biggest beer-maker by market value, said it acquired Sona Systems Associates Business Management Ltd. and Life Breweries Co.

With the takeover, the Heineken NV (HEIA) unit takes control of Sona’s two brewing plants in the southwestern town of Ota and the northern city of Kaduna, as well as a third formerly run by Life Breweries in the southeastern city of Onitsha, the Lagos- based company said in a statement published today by the Nigerian Stock Exchange. Nigerian Breweries didn’t say how much it paid.

The acquisitions give Nigerian Breweries “immediate access to additional capacity and also brand extension,” Tunde Abidoye, an analyst with FBN Capital Ltd. said today by phone from Lagos. They will add about 3.7 million hectoliters to the company’s production and broaden its product range, he said.

Nigeria, with more than 150 million people, is the continent’s most populous country and is attracting investment from global beermakers seeking to expand market share. SABMiller Plc (SAB), the world’s second-largest brewer by volume, said on Feb. 25 that it plans a $100 million plant in Onitsha within two years. Guinness Nigeria Plc, a beer-making unit of distiller Diageo Plc (DGE), said on March 11 that it will spend $336 million to expand brewing capacity in the country.

Nigerian Breweries rose 5 percent, the maximum daily limit, to 79.78 naira by the 2:30 p.m. close in Lagos. The stock has risen 2.9 percent this year, compared with a 18 percent decline in the Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index over the same period.

3 Oct. 2011

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