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Corporate deals

Guinness Nigeria’s parent company acquires Hollywood actor, Ryan Reynolds’ Gin brand

Guinness Nigeria’s parent company has acquired a gin brand co-owned by actor, Ryan Reynolds.

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Guinness Nigeria’s parent company acquires Hollywood actor, Ryan Reynolds’ Gin brand

Diageo Holdings Plc, the world’s largest spirits maker has completed the acquisition of Aviation American Gin and its parent company Davos brands, co-owned by Hollywood star actor Ryan Reynolds.

This disclosure is contained in a press release by the company, which was seen by Nairametrics.

The acquisition of Aviation Gin LLC and its parent company, Davos Brands LLC, cements Diageo as the world’s largest gin brand in the world.

READ: Guinness’ parent company expects alcohol sales to improve as restaurants and bars gradually reopen

The total consideration of the acquisition is put at $610 million, which includes an initial payment of $335 million and a further potential consideration of up to $275 million, based on the performance of Aviation American Gin over a ten-year period. This, however, reflects the brand’s current growth trajectory and expected upside potential.

The Management of Diageo Holdings Plc, said that the acquisition supports the company’s participation in the super-premium gin segment in the US, and is in line with the company’s strategy to acquire “high growth brands with attractive margins,” which supports its premiumization ambitions.

 (READ MORE: Oracle wins bid to acquire TikTok’s US operations after Microsoft offer was rejected)

Ivan Menezes, Chief Executive officer of Diageo said; “We are confident that Aviation American Gin will continue to shape and drive the growth of super-premium gin in North America, and we are looking forward to working with Ryan Reynolds and the Davos Brands team to accelerate future growth.”

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READ: Analysis: Nigerian Breweries, the glory days are gone

Aviation American Gin is an American style gin crafted with a blend of botanicals, with subtle juniper notes, delivering a smooth balanced flavor profile. The brand has thrived under the leadership of its majority owner, Davos Brands, and the creative direction of co-owner Ryan Reynolds, who will retain an ongoing ownership interest in Aviation American Gin.

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Through this acquisition, Diageo is also acquiring the other brands in the Davos Brands’ portfolio, consisting of Astral Tequila, Sombra Mezcal, and TYKU Sake.

READ: How Nike rejection birthed sportswear industry in Nigeria

Fact: Diageo Overseas Holdings Limited, is the parent organization of Guinness Overseas Limited. Guinness Overseas Limited, as of 30 June 2020, owned 50.18% of the issued share capital of Guinness Nigeria Plc.

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Omokolade Ajayi is a graduate of Economics, and a certificate holder of the CFA Institute’s Investment Foundation Program. He is a business analyst, and equity market researcher, with wealth of experience as a retail investor. He is a business owner and a stern advocate of Financial literacy, who believes in the huge economic prospect of the Nigerian Payment channels and Fintech space.

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Corporate deals

DEAL: Shyft Power Solutions raises $3.1m Seed Round to push affordable energy

The funding round was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund’s Emerge Program and Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures with participation from other investors.

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SHYFT Power Solutions, which builds IoT and software to optimize distributed energy resource performance and operational efficiency in emerging markets, has announced an additional $3.1M in funding to bring its total seed round to $3.8M.

The funding round was led by the SoftBank Vision Fund’s Emerge Program and Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures with participation from other investors including Lofty Inc, Samurai Ventures, and Urban US Ventures.

SHYFT was founded by Stanford’s engineers to address the challenges in delivering and scaling clean, reliable, and affordable energy solutions in emerging markets that struggle with unreliable grids or energy access. SHYFT’s initial focus is in Nigeria, a country set to be the 3rd most populous after China and India, but were an unreliable grid has led to widespread dependence on generators, accounting for nearly 8x the capacity of the grid.

READ: Top 10 Nigerian tech companies and capital raised in 2020

SHYFT is pioneering the digitization of the energy landscape in emerging markets like Nigeria. Its asset management solution delivers an integrated approach that uses algorithms to monitor, automate, and optimize how assets, as well as grid connections, are utilized individually and as an integrated system, aggregating a plurality of data streams while doing so.

By increasing visibility and control, the system helps users to make informed decisions about which sources they use, how long they use a source, and when they switch sources. This enables operators to scale distributed systems in a cost-effective way, particularly in remote markets. It has resulted in operators improving RoI, reducing emissions, mitigating downtime, and reducing operational costs, in some cases by up to 57%.

SoftBank Vision Fund’s Emerge Program was established in 2019 to provide select startups with access to the tools, networks, and support to take their business to the next level. Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures is focused on finding, funding, and fostering high-potential startups which will contribute to creating a low carbon future.

READ: S&P 500 sets record highs on the back of tech stocks

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SHYFT plans to use this new funding round to double its team in West Africa over the next year with a focus on developing AI capabilities to use its data and algorithms for system optimization. The company will also look to build corporate partnerships and expand to additional African markets facing similar energy challenges.

SHYFT’s customers and strategic partners include some of the largest and fastest-growing alternative energy companies in Nigeria, including Daystar Power Solutions and Aspire Power Solutions. After passing critical IEC safety testing for their controllers, the company began ramping up sales across Nigeria over the past year with their customers. Today, they have over 2,000 kW of assets being managed by SHYFT technology and expect that to increase ten-fold by the end of 2021. Nearly every major bank in Nigeria has a branch using SHYFT technology, creating a path for SHYFT and its customers to deliver reliable power to the nearly 5,000 branches in the market.

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What they are saying

Ademidun Edosomwan, Managing Director, Emerging Markets at Total Carbon Neutrality Ventures (TCNV), said: “Energy is an essential need for all, yet it is estimated that more than 3.5 billion people globally lack access to affordable and reliable electricity. SHYFT’s technology will play a critical role in a global movement to democratize the way people manage their power sources. They’ve developed data-driven software that enables homeowners and businesses in emerging markets to make smarter decisions on their energy use in order to cut costs and reduce emissions. We are delighted to support SHYFT’s momentum as Ugwem and the team continues to expand their impact and help build a better energy future for the world.”

Ugwem Eneyo, Co-Founder & CEO SHYFT said. “I founded SHYFT to build the technology that can enable and accelerate this transition, and ensure that on the path to reliable energy access, the use of cleaner solutions can mitigate carbon emissions as well. We are fortunate to have investors supporting us where their sector and global experience will be invaluable.”

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Corporate deals

DEAL: Nigerian fintech software provider, Appzone raises $10m to scale its products and services

Appzone platforms are used by 18 commercial banks and over 450 microfinance banks in Africa.

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Appzone a fintech software provider that builds proprietary solutions for financial institutions and their banking and payments services announced that it has closed $10 million in Series A investment.

The Series A round was led by CardinalStone Capital Advisers, a Lagos-based investment firm. Other investors include V8 Capital, Constant Capital, and Itanna Capital Ventures. New York-based but Africa-focused firm Lateral Investment Partners also participated.

Founded in 2008 by Emeka Emetarom, Obi Emetarom, and Wale Onawunmi, Appzone functions as an enabler (at payment rails and the core infrastructure) within banking and payments.

READ: Shola Akinlade: The inspiration behind Paystack’s success

Appzone platforms are used by 18 commercial banks and over 450 microfinance banks in Africa. Together, they amass a yearly transaction value and yearly loan disbursement of $2 billion and $300million.

Before now, Appzone closed a $2 million deal from South African Business Connexion (BCX) in 2014. Four years later, it raised $2.5 million in convertible debt and bought back shares from BCX in the process. But overall, the company says it has raised $15 million in equity funding.

This new funding will be used to scale its products and services and expand across more African countries. The startup also plans to achieve scale by growing its engineering team.

READ: From Chemist to Bank CEO – The Story of Uzoma Dozie

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What they are saying

Yomi Jemibewon, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Cardinal Stone Capital Advisers, said the firm’s investment in Appzone is further proof of Africa’s potential as the future hub of world-class technology.

READ: Bill Gates holds far more cash than Nigeria’s foreign reserve

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Appzone is building a disruptive fintech ecosystem that will be the backbone of Africa’s finance industry with products across payments, infrastructure, and software as a service. The impact of Appzone’s work is multifold — the company’s products deepen financial inclusion across the continent whilst providing best-fit and low-cost solutions to financial institutions. Its emphasis on premium talent also helps stem brain drain, rewarding Africa’s best brains with best-in-class employment opportunities.”

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