Heineken completes Harar, Bedele brewery buys

Heineken completes Harar, Bedele brewery buys

Heineken has highlighted the potential of Ethiopia's beer market after completing the acquisition of two breweries in the country.

Heineken said today (11 August) that it has completed the buyouts of Bedele and Harar breweries from Ethiopia's Government. It has paid US$85m and $78m respectively for the plants.

The move puts Ethiopia at the heart of Heineken's growth plans in Africa, a region which the brewer sees as a crucial emerging market for the group. "In addition to a fast growing population and a developing beer market," Heineken said, "the country's political stability and improving economy, make Ethiopia a promising, long-term growth market for Heineken in Africa."

Consumption of beer and non-alcoholic malt drinks is just 4 litres per capita among Ethiopia's 85m-strong population, the Netherlands-based brewer said. Nearby Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya have per capita beer consumption of seven, nine and ten litres respectively.

Bedele and Harar have a combined market share of 18% in volume terms, with brands such as Bedele, Harar, Hakim Stout and Harar Sofi. However, Castel Group's Brasseries & Glacieres Internationales (BGI) already accounts for one in two beers sold in Ethiopia. Last month, BGI was reported to have formed a joint-venture with Raya Brewery in the country.