Philippe Jabre reacquires
Almaza, the family jewel
Heineken remains a shareholder
Heineken Group has sold its majority ownership stake in Brasserie Almaza (Almaza) to Philippe Jabre, a Geneva-based investor and founder of hedge funds and personal wealth management companies.
The acquisition increases the stake of the Jabre family to more than 70 percent from 12.5 percent. Both parties did not disclose the financial value of the acquisition. The Bocti group, which used to hold around 17 percent stake, has also exited the company.
Jabre’s grandfather had co-founded the brewery in 1933 together with two other members of the family in addition to two other shareholders. The combined stake of the Jabre family members was 60 percent at that time.
Heineken, which has retained a minority ownership in Almaza, was in the last two years considering exiting its entire stake in the company due to the difficult economic circumstances in the country. It had increased its stake in Almaza to 79 percent in 2003 by acquiring an additional 69 percent of its shares, in a deal estimated by the market to be valued at $25 million. As it has done so far, Heineken will continue to give Almaza access to international brands and technical expertise.
Post-acquisition, Almaza will retain its current management team and direct workforce of 175 people. The company may need to hire ten to 15 new employees to work in their booming activities of product development and marketing in addition to exports which are expected to double. Naji Nacouzi has been appointed as its new General Manager. He was previously a senior manager at Almaza in Lebanon and at Heineken in North Africa.
According to Jabre, his company does not need any new investment at present. It has zero debt and its existing cash flow is sufficient to finance its operations.
Jabre said: “Ever since the Almaza brewery was founded by my grandfather and relatives in 1933, the Jabre family always remained involved and committed to the company. Our priority is to ensure a sustainable and long-term future for Almaza, and to maintain the Lebanese legacy, brand, and institution.”
Brasserie Almaza will continue to manufacture its local brand at its historical Dora brewery and production site, and will retain exclusive sales and distribution rights of the Heineken brand. Almaza produces leading beer brands such as Almaza, Almaza Light, Almaza Special Dark, REX, and the Laziza non-alcoholic range. It also distributes the Heineken brands.
Date Posted: Jan 13, 2022