Yaoundé: Treasury earns CFA51 billion in tax revenues from Guinness deal 0

The Cameroonian public treasury earned 51 billion FCFA from taxes during the acquisition of Guinness Cameroon by the French group Castel. This comprises 36 billion FCFA from capital gains tax and 15 billion FCFA from registration fees, according to Cameroon’s Minister of Trade, Luc Magloire Mbarga Atangana.

The official revealed this to the parliament on June 23, 2023, while answering concerns voiced by one of the deputies, Daniel Ngalle Etongo, who feared Castel’s domination of the local market (80%) and the deal’s impact on consumers (price hike). The deputy also feared that the transaction violated antitrust laws. In response, Minister Atangana said the acquisition was in line with the Central African Economic Union’s common market rules.

“Notwithstanding the strengthened dominant position of the acquiring company, the acquisition of Guinness Cameroon SA by the Brasseries et Glacières Internationales SA (BGI, parent company of the Castel Group) is in line with the common market rules within the Central African Economic Union. This is subject to the involved companies’ adherence to the commitments they have made,” Atangana said. 

Investment program

“This acquisition operation was not within the national jurisdiction of the State of Cameroon but fell exclusively under the Community Council of Competition and the CEMAC Commission. It is now up to Cameroon, in perfect understanding with the CEMAC Commission, to ensure strict compliance with the commitments made, particularly in terms of planned investments in production tools, expansion and improvement of the distribution network, preservation and creation of jobs, and consumer rights protection. The Ministry of Commerce has ensured this, especially as beer is one of the products whose prices are subject to prior approval,” he added.

Announced on July 14, 2022, by both brewers involved, the purchase of Guinness Cameroon by Castel was approved on March 28, 2023 by the CEMAC’s Competition Community Council.

The CFA300 billion includes a 200 billion FCFA investment program to boost Guinness products in Cameroon over 5 years. This involves building three new production lines in Yaoundé, Garoua, and Bafoussam. These lines will have an annual production capacity of 2.1 million hectolitres. The details were revealed to the press on December 13, 2022, by Stéphane Descazeaud, MD of Société anonyme des boissons du Cameroun, a local company controlled by Castel. The Cameroonian government will see to it that these commitments are implemented.

Source: Business in Cameroon