TANZANIA: SABMiller silent on Serengeti buyout claim

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SABMiller has declined to comment on a claim that it sought to buy Serengeti Breweries, the Tanzanian brewer now at the centre of a dispute between SABMiller and Diageo.

Serengeti, the second largest brewer in Tanzania, took out a newspaper advert in the country late last week to claim that it recently received a takeover bid from SABMiller.

The claim is the latest move in a dispute involving Serengeti, SABMiller subsidiary Tanzania Breweries (TBL) and Diageo subsidiary East Africa Breweries (EABL).

SABMiller recently gained a temporary court injunction to block EABL from buying a stake in Serengeti and disposing of its 20% stake in TBL. TBL is the country's largest brewer and is contolled by SABMiller.

An SABMiller spokesperson declined to comment on the Serengeti newspaper advert when contacted by just-drinks today (7 September).

In the advert, according to a Reuters report, Serengeti argued that an SABMiller takeover would give the brewer greater control over the beer sector in Tanzania and so could lead to the closure of some breweries.
The SABMiller spokesperson said: "SABMiller and its subsidiaries support the principle of free market competition wherever we operate and in this respect Tanzania is no different."

Arbitration proceedings on the brewers' dispute are due to follow, but no start date has been set.


Sectors: Beer & cider

Companies: SABMiller, Diageo

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