South African wine and spirits group Distell says a decision on Heineken's takeover interest should be made by Sept. 30.
Heineken had expressed interest in acquiring a majority stake in Distell in May. Since then, the companies have been in talks, which Distell said have made progress but have not yet been concluded. The South African alcohol industry was hit badly during Covid 19 lockdowns that – unlike other markets – also had an impact on domestic off-sales and exports. Despite these challenges, in the fiscal year just ended, the owner of a wide range of wine and spirits brands including Nederburg, Neetlingshof, Fleur du Cap and Amarula reported big gains in sales to 28.3 billion rand (+26%, about €1.65 billion) and profits to 2.8 billion rand (+185%, about €164 million)
Among the details released concerning the potential acquisition is that Distell will forgo paying a dividend for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021. The company says it will make up for a dividend payment if talks with Heineken fail.