Diageo and subsidiary East African Breweries have transferred distribution of all spirits brands in Tanzania to Serengeti Breweries with immediate effect.

Diageo said it has switched from previous distributor Mohan's because its "long-term future lies with Serengeti Breweries" in Tanzania.

Brands to be distributed by Serengeti include Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Captain Morgan, said Diageo, announcing the deal today (24 November).

Patricia Ithau, managing director for East Africa Breweries (EABL), said: "The launch of our spirits brands in Tanzania is evidence that EABL and Diageo take this market seriously and will seek all opportunities to invest even further in the market to develop and grow the business here."

Diageo and EABL have appointed Stansalaus Theopil as the dedicated general manager for spirits sales in Tanzania.

Serengeti Breweries director Ajay Shah said: "We intend to make the necessary investments from warehousing to logistics that will eventually see us employing more people as a result of this new business."

Diageo, EABL and Serengeti are currently embroiled in a legal row in Tanzania with SABMiller and its Tanzania Breweries subsidiary. EABL owns a 20% stake in Tanzania Breweries but recently announced a deal to acquire a "substantial interest" in rival group Serengeti. SABMiller has secured a court injunction to block the deal pending an inquiry.

Diageo and EABL said today that the spirits distribution deal with Serengeti "is a separate matter from the ongoing arbitration regarding beer distribution and the two matters are therefore unrelated".