The board of directors of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria (GSK Nigeria) Plc is proposing to pay a special dividend of N716 million to shareholders under the proposed divestment of the company’s drinks business.
Ripples Nigeria had reported yesterday that the board of directors had received a binding offer from Suntory Beverage & Food Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of Japanese soft drinks group, Suntory Beverage and Food Limited (SBF).
The board of directors has called an extraordinary general meeting to seek shareholders’ approval for the sale of the company’s drinks business to the Japanese group. The extraordinary general meeting, slated for July 4, 2016.
In a regulatory filing, the board of directors indicated that shareholders would be requested to pass a resolution, authorizing the board to sell the company’s business of manufacturing, bottling, marketing, distributing and selling of the Ribena and Lucozade brands in Nigeria and all assets attached to or deployed in connection with the business to Suntory Beverage & Food Nigeria Limited.
Besides, shareholders would also consider and approve another resolution authorizing the board to pay a special dividend of N716 million to shareholders of the company, representing 60 kobo per share, after the approval and completion of the assets sale.
The board of directors of GSK Nigeria has indicated it would be recommending the Suntory offer to shareholders for approval.
If the shareholders and regulators were to approve the sale, the retained business of GSK Nigeria would be its wellness, oral healthcare, nutrition and pharmaceutical and vaccines businesses.
The board of directors however assured that the company would remain listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The principal terms of the offer are expected to be set out in a circular to the shareholders as investors await further details on the transaction.
Suntory Beverage has said it plans to acquire companies in Southeast Asia, Middle East, Africa and Latin America to help double sales to 2.0 trillion yen by 2020. The Tokyo-based company derived about 31 percent of revenue from overseas markets in 2012, compared with 25 percent in 2011.
After purchasing the global rights to Lucozade and Ribena from GlaxoSmithKline United Kingdom, Suntory plans to use the acquisition to expand in countries where the UK company already operates, such as Nigeria and Malaysia.
Suntory began trading July 3, 2013 after raising almost $4 billion in Japan’s biggest share sale since Japan Airlines Co’s 663 billion yen initial public offering in September last year. Suntory Beverage, which sells Boss coffee, had bought 51 per cent of PepsiCo Inc (PEP)’s soft-drink business in Vietnam in 2013.
Parent Suntory Holdings, which sells whiskey and beer, remains unlisted. The beverage group bought France’s Orangina Schweppes Group for 300 billion yen in 2009 and paid 600 million euros in the same year for New Zealand’s Frucor Beverages Group.
Suntory Holdings had a 20 per cent share of Japan’s non-alcoholic drink market in 2012, the second-biggest after Coca-Cola Co’s 28 per cent, according to Inryosoken, a research company.
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