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Shareholders look forward to Internationals Breweries planned Rights Issue

International Breweries Plc (IBPLC), a leading beverage company and member of ABInBev, the world’s largest brewer has reiterated its commitment to long-term investment in Nigeria.

This came on the heels of the completion of the company’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) held in Lagos recently.

As part of its strategy to return the company to profitability, IBPLC proposed and got overwhelming support from its shareholders, in February, to embark on a Rights issue plan. During a second EGM, the shareholders gave more resounding support in April, with the approval of a shareholder loan.

The resolution was passed with a vast vote that saw shareholders shaking hands and congratulating one another after the company’s historic decision.

According to the IBPLC, the producers of Hero Lager, Trophy Lager, and Beta Malt among other leading beverages, the generated funds from the rights issue/shareholder loan are earmarked for the full and final settlement of its USD loan which was utilised to build its state-of-the-art plant – the largest in sub-Saharan Africa – in Ogun State.

Due to the constraints of sourcing US Dollars, other related forex volatility challenges, surge in operational costs and other macro-economic impacts, IBPLC had difficulty paying down the loan over the years.

Chairman of the Board of Directors, HRM Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, emphasised the full support of AB InBev for the shareholder’s loan, stating, “We project that the repayment of the Loan will inject the desired equity to recapitalise the business, thereby setting it on the path to profitability, in addition to driving IBPLC’s value which will ultimately translate to better returns for our shareholders.”

Continuing, the Chairman said it is noteworthy that IBPLC’s parent company’s support of the rights issue is an indication of its confidence in Nigeria. “Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABInBev) fully supports this process and has committed to taking up their rights in full. This decision, including threading the path of the shareholder loan, demonstrates ABInBev’s commitment to the success and sustainability of IBPLC, including its dedication to long-term presence and continuous strategic investments in Nigeria”.

At the meeting, shareholders expressed anticipation for the commencement of the rights issue so they could save to buy more shares noting that the full payment of the loan in May will drive the company’s equity upward.

According to a shareholder, Boniface Okezie, who is the National Chairman of the Progressive Shareholder Association of Nigeria, “As shareholders, we are eagerly awaiting the commencement so we can take up the right issue. This is because after paying the loan we know the company will start generating profit and start paying dividends to shareholders. We want to thank International Breweries and ABInBev for keeping faith with Nigeria despite the economic challenges. I appeal to the minority shareholders to endeavour to do what they can to participate in the rights issue.”

The National Coordinator of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria and Chairman Audit Committee, Moses Ibrude said, “This decision we are taking today will enable us to support driving more value for the company. IBPLC borrowed to build a world-class brewery and the profit the company makes has been used in servicing this debt. The board is taking the right step and we all support this resolution.”

Finance Director, International Breweries Plc, David Tomlinson, acknowledged the company’s robust market share growth across Nigeria while encouraging shareholders to take up the rights issue offer. “Our company has been recording remarkable success with our quality product offerings and market share gains.  This right issue offer, including the shareholder loan, will make a meaningful impact on the profitability of our organisation.

On his part, the Managing Director, of International Breweries Plc, Carlos Coutino, said “IBPLC remains resolute in delivering worth, and innovation as well as contributing positively to the communities where we operate. Our commitment to transparency, accountability, and sustainable growth is unwavering. We believe in fostering a culture of mutual trust and collaboration, and your role as shareholders is important to this vision.”

IBPLC in its statements said despite the challenging economic landscape leading to crushing headwinds for enterprises, International Breweries has persevered and weathered the storms as an ongoing concern and remains committed to diligently working towards transforming its fortunes to provide further value-add to its shareholders and stakeholders in general,

Shareholders can access additional information on the rights issue from the company’s website at https://www.international-breweries.com

 

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