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Templars advises on Tolaram’s-Diageo N64 billion acquisition of Guinness Nigeria, marking law firm’s growing influence  

Leading Nigerian law firm Templars has announced its role in advising Tolaram, a Singaporean conglomerate, on acquiring a 58.02% stake in Guinness Nigeria PLC from Diageo.  

The deal, signed on June 11, 2024, includes long-term licensing and royalty agreements for the Guinness brand and Diageo’s ready-to-drink and mainstream spirits in Nigeria.  

The transaction highlights Templars’ prominence in handling significant corporate deals. Templars has previously advised Tolaram, especially on the financing of the Lekki Deep Sea Port. 

Tolaram, which operates 30 manufacturing facilities in Africa, primarily in Nigeria, aims to enhance Guinness’ growth in the Nigerian market. The acquisition could exceed NGN 64 billion, given Guinness Nigeria’s market capitalization of NGN 110.7 billion and a share price of NGN 50.5. 

What Templars is saying 

In a publication seen by Nairametrcs, Templars stated that it is ‘advising’ the leading Singaporean-headquartered conglomerate, Tolaram on its proposed acquisition of Diageo’s 58.02% interest in Guinness Nigeria plc. 

It also stated that the transaction is been led by Deputy Managing Partner and Head of Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions, Chike Obianwu. He is assisted by other key members of the team including Managing Counsel Obianuju Ifebunandu, Senior Associate Ayodele Ashiata Kadiri, and Associates Amadi Ijiomah, Pamela Ojiego, and Oluwafisayo Aderibigbe. 

According to Mr. Obianwu,  

“This transaction is a strategic feat for the Tolaram Group for which it represents an audacious entry into the alcoholic beverages market. We at Templars are excited to have once again assisted the Group on a major market-shaping transaction, having advised them as project sponsors on the development and financing of the landmark, Lekki Deep Sea Port and on various key initiatives of their Lagos Free Zone Company and Multipro Consumer Products Limited.” 

Templars list of major deals closed 

Templars’ involvement in this high-profile transaction showcases its growing influence in corporate legal services. The firm was recently recognized as a top-tier law firm in the 2024 Legal 500 EMEA listing, excelling in banking, finance, capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions. 

  • In addition to the Tolaram-Guinness deal, Templars has advised on several significant transactions over the past year: 
  • $23.3 million IFC Financing: On June 19, 2024, Templars advised the International Finance Corporation on financing Johnvents Industries Limited, a Nigerian cocoa processor. 
  • $200 million Mastercard Investment in MTN: On March 5, 2024, Templars advised Mastercard on its minority investment in MTN Group Fintech, aimed at enhancing mobile money services across 13 African markets. 
  • $20 million AfDB Trade Finance for FSDH: On January 8, 2024, Templars advised the African Development Bank on a trade finance facility for FSDH Merchant Bank, supporting SMEs. 
  • NGN 19.4 billion Loan to Falcon Corporation: In December 2023, Templars advised Chapel Hill Denham Management Limited on a debt facility for Falcon Corporation, for developing an LPG storage facility in Port Harcourt. 
  • $25 million Infrastructure Bond for Lagos Free Zone: On November 22, 2023, Templars advised on the issuance of infrastructure bonds to develop an industrial hub in Nigeria. 
  • $50 million Elektron Energy Power Project: On July 21, 2023, Templars advised Elektron Energy on a gas-fired power plant project in Lagos. 

Companies spend big on professional fees 

A recent analysis by Nairalytics reveals that forty-four of the largest publicly listed companies in the Nigerian equities market spent a total of N234 billion as professional fees in the 2023 financial year. 

This represents a whopping 50.6% increase from the N155.4 billion recorded in 2022.  

According to Nairametrics findings, the professional fees include payments for legal, consultancy, non-audit, and advisory amongst other services.  

Leading firms like Aluko and Oyebode, Templars, Deloitte, KPMG, PwC, EY, Accenture, McKinsey and others are among some of the top consulting firms rendering professional services to quoted companies. 

Tolaram Deal 

  • Aside from Templars, the deal is also expected to require the services of accountants, auditors, financial advisors, asset managers etc. all of whom will earn fees in exchange for their role in consummating the transaction. 
  • Industry regulator, Security and Exchange Commission will also earn fees from the deal in exchange for approving the transaction. Consumer protection organization, FCCPC will also earn fees as they are also expected to approve the transaction. 
  • Guinness stated that the transaction is expected to be completed during Fiscal 2025, subject to obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals in Nigeria. The company also promised until Tolaram decides to embark on a mandatory takeover.
  • Tolaram stated that its total investment in Nigeria stands at $1 billion, employing over 15,000 people. The Nigerian government has also lauded Tolaram’s expanded investment, viewing it as a vote of confidence in the nation’s economic potential. 

 


Source: TheTimes.com.ng.

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