SABMiller has acquired Rwenzori, the leading bottled water group in Uganda, as part of its plan to expand beverage sales in Africa.

A spokesperson for the brewer of Miller Genuine Draft and Peroni Nastro Azzurro confirmed the deal to just-drinks today (16 February). Financial details were not disclosed.

The move is part of SABMiller's strategy to build a total beverage business, including beer, soft drinks and bottled water, in Africa.

The group said in a briefing late last year that it expects double digit growth from water in Africa in the next ten years.

Rwenzori, which has a 70% share of the Ugandan bottled water market on annual sales of US$18m, is complementary to SABMiller's beer business in the country, the spokesperson said.

In the last year, SABMiller has acquired two water businesses in Ghana and Ethiopia and a non-alcoholic maize drink in Zambia.

Separately, multinational brewers are investing in Africa's potential as a major beer market.
SABMiller announced in December 2009 that it would spend US$16m to build a malt facility in Uganda.

The UK-listed group is set to have opened four new breweries across Africa - in Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola - by the end of its current fiscal year. The brewer is spending US$370m on capital projects this year, although this will fall to US$200m next year.