International Breweries has stated that it would be able to return to profitability on the back of its rights issue as well as the shareholder loan approved at its recently held extraordinary general meeting.

In a recent statement from the beverage company and member of ABInBev, the world’s largest brewer noted that steps were taken to reiterate its commitment to long-term investment in Nigeria.

At the EGM, the shareholders of IB Plc approved a loan of $379.9m from its majority shareholder, AB InBev Nigeria Holdings BV, to enable the company to repay a loan obtained from Citibank Abu Dhabi.

As part of its strategy to return the company to profitability, IBPLC proposed and got support from its shareholders in February to embark on a rights issue plan.

The shareholders also voted to approve a shareholder loan at a second EGM held in April.

According to the IBPLC, the producers of Hero Lager, Trophy Lager, and Beta Malt, among other beverages, the generated funds from the rights issue/shareholder loan are earmarked for the full and final settlement of its USD loan, which was utilised to build its plant in Ogun State.

The company said that due to the constraints of sourcing US dollars, other related forex volatility challenges, surge in operational costs and other macroeconomic impacts, it had difficulty paying down the loan over the years.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Igwe Nnaemeka Achebe, speaking at the EGM, emphasised the full support of AB InBev for the shareholder’s loan.

“We project that the repayment of the loan will inject the desired equity to recapitalise the business, thereby setting it on the path to profitability, in addition to driving IBPLC’s value which will ultimately translate to better returns for our shareholders,” he stated.

Achebe added that IBPLC’s parent company’s support of the rights issue was an indication of its confidence in Nigeria.

“Anheuser-Busch InBev (ABInBev) fully supports this process and has committed to taking up their rights in full. This decision, including threading the path of the shareholder loan, demonstrates ABInBev’s commitment to the success and sustainability of IBPLC, including its dedication to long-term presence and continuous strategic investments in Nigeria,” he said.

On his part, the Managing Director of International Breweries Plc, Carlos Coutino, asserted, “IBPLC remains resolute in delivering worth, and innovation, as well as contributing positively to the communities where we operate.

“Our commitment to transparency, accountability, and sustainable growth is unwavering. We believe in fostering a culture of mutual trust and collaboration and your role as shareholders is important to this vision.”

At the meeting, shareholders expressed anticipation for the commencement of the rights issue so they could save to buy more shares, noting that the full payment of the loan in May will drive the company’s equity upward.