Webber Wentzel won Competition and Regulatory Team of the Year at the 2023 African Legal Awards for advising Heineken International B.V. on its acquisition of South African wine and spirits maker, Distell Group Holdings Limited and its acquisition of NBL Investment Holdings (Pty) Limited, the holding company of Namibia Breweries Limited.
This acquisition is one of Heineken's most significant investments and the second largest scale acquisition in the South African beverage industry since the AB InBev/SABMiller merger. In addition to the acquisition consideration, Heineken Beverages will make significant investments in South Africa. These include a capital expenditure of ZAR 10 billion over the next five years to maintain and grow the aggregate productive capacity of the group. In doing so, it will invest ZAR 3,8 billion to plan, develop, construct and commission a new greenfield brewery and ZAR 1,7 billion in malthouse operations in conjunction with the world’s leading malt producer in Europe, Latin America and Asia. Heineken Beverages has also made further commitments to a supplier development fund, a tavern transformation programme, and the protection of the human rights and safety of farm workers. Further commitments include the establishment of a Heineken Innovation, Research and Development Hub for the African region in South Africa and to achieve carbon neutrality across the value chain by 2040.
All of these projects will kick off later this year and Webber Wentzel has been retained by Heineken to assist with the implementation process.
Webber Wentzel provided strategic competition law advice throughout the transaction negotiations, conducted a detailed multi-jurisdictional analysis of whether merger filings were required in over 130 jurisdictions worldwide, and was responsible for merger filings and approvals from regulators in Angola, Botswana, COMESA, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania and South Africa. The firm also provided exchange control and equity markets advice across the various jurisdictions in implementing and consolidating the wider and overall consequences of this acquisition.
The firm also acted as lead African counsel co-ordinating the African legal workstreams, working closely with Nomura International plc, RMB, PSG Wealth Management (Namibia), Deloitte & Touche, EY, KPMG, PwC, ENS Africa and Engling Stritter & Partners.
See below other awards Webber Wentzel won at the 2023 African Legal Awards:
Transportation and Infrastructure Team of the Year
Employment Team of the Year
ESG Initiative of the Year