Heineken’s Nigeria Unit to Raise $502 Million to Support Growth

Nigerian Breweries Plc, the West African nation’s largest brewer, said it plans to sell 100 billion naira ($502 million) in debt to boost liquidity and support growth even as lower crude prices impact spending in the continent’s most populous country.

The debt sale, expected by Oct. 8, will enable the company to diversify its funding and attract non-bank investors, Finance Director Mark Rutten said in an e-mailed statemente. The move demonstrates the Heineken N.V unit’s commitment to Nigeria, where it owns 11 breweries, Managing Director Nicolaas Vervelde said.

The fundraising comes as Nigeria suffers from lower crude prices, causing slower economic growth and declining government revenues. Lagos-based Nigerian Breweries reported lower first-half profit in July, while smaller competitor Guinness Nigeria Plc said earlier this month that the economic situation had hurt consumption of pricier beer brands.

Nigerian Breweries shares rose 0.7 percent to 148 naira as of 1.40 p.m. in Lagos. The stock has declined 10 percent this year, compared with an 11 percent drop in the 179-member Nigerian Stock Exchange All-Share Index. Guinness Nigeria, a unit of London-based Diageo Plc, is down 4.9 percent.


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