Nigerian Breweries, a unit of the world’s third biggest brewer, has secured approval for its previously announced merger with Consolidated Breweries.

Heineken, the majority shareholder in Nigerian Breweries, acquired a controlling stake in Consolidated Breweries in 2005.

With the approval from Securities and Exchange Commission, both the companies will now approach the Federal High Court to allow them to convene general meetings to obtain shareholder approval.

In May, Heineken announced its intention to combine its two Nigerian units, in a bid to take advantage of Nigeria’s growing market for beer and malt drinks.

The merger is expected to enhance operating and administrative efficiencies, drive benefits from increased economies of scale, and increase the new company’s speed and agility in response to market developments

Nigerian Breweries has eight breweries and two malting plants at present. Its brands include Heineken, Star, Gulder, Legend, Life, Goldberg, Amstel Malta, Fayrouz, Malta Gold, and Maltina.

Nigeria is the continent’s largest economy, with a significant, growing beer and malt drinks market, underpinned by favourable demographics