Delta Corporation says it has completed the acquisition of a controlling stake in Lusaka Stock Exchange-listed beer company, National Breweries PLC (Natbrew).

Zimbabwe’s biggest company by market value, Delta, announced last year that it was set to complete the acquisition of a controlling stake in Zambia’s Natbrew from its parent company Anheusur-Busch InBev SA/NV (AB-InBev), subject to regulatory approvals during this year’s first quarter.

Delta reportedly snapped up an estimated 441 million shares from Anheusur Busch InBev SA/NV to acquire a controlling stake in Natbrew at an estimated cost of US$12 298 639,32, with a single share going for approximately US$,028.

Snapping a controlling stake in Natbrew is part of Delta’s long-term strategy to boost its diversified beverages business by making forays into the regional market. Natbrew, which markets its products under the Chibuku brand, is the leading opaque beer manufacturer in the country.

Delta Corporation operations director Etherton Mpisaunga notified local staff that the acquisition of the Zambian brewery had been finalised.

Last year, as Delta was in the process of acquiring Natbrew, it kept a lid on the finer details of the transaction — estimated to be running into several millions of dollars.

Staff from Delta’s various beverage business units are being deployed into Zambia to assist and oversee the smooth transition of operations at the Zambian brewery, sources said.

In the half year to September 30, 2017, Delta’s profit after tax rose 4% to US$32 million compared to US$30 million achieved in the same period in previous years, propelled by strong performances from associate companies.

Profit from associate business units increased by 355% to US$1,6 million from US$351 000 in the same period last year, driven by positive performance from both associate companies, Afdis and Schweppes, which recorded revenue and volume growth in the period.

Figures released late last year by the beverages manufacturer indicate that lager beer volumes increased by 11% to 676 hectolitres, while gross sales increased by 9% to US$119 million, with volume mix in favour of value packs and brands.

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