Sechaba Holdings, the country’s leading brewer has appointed a Mexican, Renaud Beunchamp to the position of Country Managing Director, Botswana Guardian has been told. The new boss joined the company in January 2018. He is replacing Johan De Kok who left the struggling brewer at the end of last year. Until his appointment to the top post at the listed brewer, Beunchamp was Director of Sales: Modern Trade at Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev).
AB InBev is parent company to Sechaba, after buying SAB Miller in a marathon transaction more than a year ago. Beunchamp has a strong background in procurement and beer sales having been Global Procurement Manager and Director of Sales for the world’s largest brewery.
He is coming to Sechaba at a time when the group, which owns Kgalagadi Breweries Limited, has allegedly moved the bulk of its procurement process to Mauritius post a restructuring exercise.
Tough tasks await the McGill University graduate as he will be forced to turn the company to profitability amid tight regulations in the multi-million Pula sector. The group has been posting declining profits as a result of the Alcohol Levy which was introduced ten years ago and subsequently the traditional beer regulations which regulate sales of traditional brews.
Beunchamp will also be forced to settle down fast and convince investors that Sechaba is still intact despite market turbulence. This is so because one of the its biggest shareholders, Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) is selling down its shares at the brewer of St Louis and Black Label, as a result of poor financial performance by the company. Answering a question from this publication late last year, Chief Financial Officer of BDC, Dr Mbako Mbo said the process to divest from Sechaba will be done in three years. “So far we have sold 7, 2 million shares that we used to hold at the company (Sechaba),” he disclosed. According to BDC finance chief, the value of the above shares stands at around P120 million. According to Mbo, BDC plans to reduce its shareholding in the listed entity to ‘no more than 15 percent’. On another matter, Sechaba has notified shareholders that the 2017 final dividend will be declared in March 2018 and paid in April 2018. “This change in dates is meant to align the declaration of the final dividend with the announcement of the audited financial statements scheduled for March 2018,” said a statement from company secretary, Thobo Kerekang.