Distell is upping its investment in Africa, beyond its core footprint of South Africa

Distell is upping its investment in Africa, beyond its core footprint of South Africa

Distell Group is to acquire a 26% stake in Kenyan spirits firm KWA Holding East Africa Limited (KHEAL) for KES860m (US$9.8m). 

The deal, announced today (18 July), builds on a 16-year relationship between the two groups. In that time, KHEAL has been producing, bottling and distributing several of Distell's brands, including Viceroy Brandy, Clubman Punch and Castle Brand Aperitif.

KHEAL operates five distribution centres in Kenya, another in Uganda, and a wholly-owned subsidiary in Rwanda. The company also sells products through duty-free outlets in Kenya and Rwanda. 

“The acquisition strengthens Distell’s relationship with KHEAL and takes the partnership to a significantly more sustainable level,” said Richard Rushton, Distell's CEO. 

South Africa-headquartered Distell said the deal is part of plans to “ramp up” its investment in Africa. Last month, the firm opened a US$5m bottling plant in Ghana. It has also secured land in Nigeria and Angola for manufacturing plants, due to go live next year.

Rushton added: “We are thrilled with our latest investment which comes at a time when the economic prospects across East Africa are highly promising.”

KHEAL's own Kenyan brands include Kingfisher, Kibao, Caprice and Yatta, which Distell says it intends to support. 

To read an exclusive just-drinks inteview with Pernod's MD for Sub-Saharan Africa and his views on the region's prospects, click here.