Sunday, August 14, 2011

Heineken enters Ethiopia, eyes EA

Heineken is seeking for a piece of the Southern Sudan beer market after completing the buyout of two Ethiopian breweries. Photo/FILE

Heineken is seeking for a piece of the Southern Sudan beer market after completing the buyout of two Ethiopian breweries. Photo/FILE 

By ARGAW ASHINE, NATION CORRESPONDENT, Addis Ababa

Global beverage giant Heineken is seeking for a piece of the Southern Sudan beer market after completing the buyout of two Ethiopian breweries.

Heineken spent a total $163 million to buy Harar and Bedele breweries located in eastern and western regions of the country respectively, and will use the firms as a gateway to the newly independent South Sudan.

Heineken’s president in charge of Africa and Middle East Tom de Man said the company’s next target would be the newly independent nation South Sudan before spreading to other countries in the region.

"Exporting our beers to Southern Sudan and other neighbouring countries in the region is in our plan, "said De Man.

This will set the stage for a bruising battle for control of the virgin market that has attracted other brewing giants including SABMiller and Diageo.

Strong interests

Bedele produces three different brands of beers while Harar is the sole manufacturer of non-alcoholic beverages consumed in the country.

Heineken’s Ethiopia Managing Director Joan Doyer said Ethiopian beer market has a potential to grow.

"Ethiopia is one of Africa's most promising beer markets," Ms Doyer said.

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