Guinness to Exit Nigeria After 75 Years Amid Economic Struggles Under Tinubu Administration

Guinness to Exit Nigeria After 75 Years Amid Economic Struggles Under Tinubu Administration

By Muminat Ajide

 

Having operated in Nigeria since 1950, Guinness has announced its decision to exit the Nigerian market, selling its controlling shares to Singaporean conglomerate Tolaram Group amidst challenging economic conditions heightened by the administration of President Bola Tinubu.

Despite operating in Nigeria for 75 years, Guinness has faced financial losses, recording a staggering N61.9 billion loss after tax between July 2023 and March 2024.

This downturn in fortunes followed President Tinubu’s decision to float the naira, aiming to unify its value across official and parallel foreign exchange markets. However, this move backfired, causing severe financial setbacks for multinational corporations operating in Nigeria, including Guinness Nigeria, which experienced a 1000% increase in losses compared to the previous year.

As a result of these financial challenges, Diageo, the parent company of Guinness, has opted to sell its controlling stake of 58.02% to the Singaporean conglomerate Tolaram Group. The acquisition, expected to conclude by 2025, signals Guinness’s departure from the Nigerian market. Despite this decision, Diageo reassures stakeholders that it will retain ownership of the Guinness global brand, which will be licensed to Guinness Nigeria for the long term.

Guinness’s exit from Nigeria adds to the growing list of multinational corporations that have departed the country in recent years due to the harsh economic climate. Companies like GlaxoSmithKline and Microsoft have cited similar reasons for their exits, further highlighting the challenges faced by businesses operating in Nigeria.

Some of Diageo’s popular brands in Nigeria include Smirnoff Ice, Smirnoff Vodka, Orijin Bitters, Malta Guinness, Gordons Orange Sunset, and Dubic Malt.

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