SABMiller to sell Tsogo Sun stake

Peroni beer Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption SABMiller owns a number of beer brands, including Peroni

Global brewing giant SABMiller has announced plans to sell its stake in a leading African hotel chain.

The beer and drinks maker owns nearly 40% of Tsogo Sun, which also operates casinos, but now says that "gaming and hotels are not core to our operations".

It means its stake of more than 300 million shares, worth some $1bn (£580m), will be on offer in late July.

However, a special placement has been made for Tsogo Sun to buy back nearly half of these shares for $260m.

The second phase of the sale will see shares offered to institutional investors.

Global reach

SABMiller chief executive Alan Clarke said the company planned to "reinvest the proceeds in our core growth businesses, including our African operations".

The company is the second-largest beer maker in the world, selling about 21 billion litres of lager worldwide.

In 1999 it listed on the London Stock Exchange, and since then has made acquisitions in Europe, Asia, Latin America and US.

Its brands include Castle Lager, Peroni, China's Snow, and Atlas beer which is popular in South America.

Established in 1895, it was originally a South African-owned company, created during the time of the discovery of gold and mining in the country.

It now sells drinks to consumers in 75 countries worldwide and has more than 200 brands.

Black empowerment

Tsogo Sun owns more than 90 hotels, plus casinos and restaurants in emerging African markets such as Nigeria, Zambia, and Kenya, and also Abu Dhabi in the Middle East.

According to chief executive Marcel von Aulock, SAB Miller's exit will have "a positive impact on Tsogo Sun's earnings per share and black economic empowerment shareholding".

Black economic empowerment is government policy in South Africa. It involves opening up share schemes to the country's black population, so they can own parts of strategic companies.

The two companies have until late July to conclude the sale of the asset.

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