• US$100m spend on new facility
  • SABMiller goes up against Heineken dominance
  • Possible expansion of soft drinks business
SABMiller is set to up its presence in Nigeria

SABMiller is set to up its presence in Nigeria

SABMiller is looking to up its presence in the Heineken-dominated Nigerian beer market, with the construction of a new brewery in the country.

The company's African division has confirmed today (1 March) that it will spend around US$100m on the new facility in Onitsha in the south-east of the country. The Anambra State Government and other – unnamed - Nigerian investors will hold up to 20% of the shares in the new business, SABMiller said.

On completion, the brewery, which is expected to produce Grand Lager, Eagle, and Castle Milk Stout among other brands, will have the capacity to produce 500,000 hectolitres of beer and malt beverage with the capability to bottle water and other beverages. Prior to construction, SABMiller will set up a distribution depot on the site.

Construction is expected to complete by July 2012.

“Today’s announcement is an indication of our commitment to increase our capacity further and to consolidate our position as a leading international brewer on the African continent whilst contributing positively to the local communities in which we operate,” said Mark Bowman, SABMiller Africa's managing director.

Earlier this year, Heineken, which already holds a 55% share of the Nigerian beer market through its Nigerian Breweries and Consolidated Breweries units, lined up the purchase of five more breweries in the country. Also present in the country's beer marker is Diageo, primarily through its Guinness brand.