EABL sells Central Glass to South African group

KENYA – East Africa’s biggest brewing group East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) has sold off its glass making enterprise Central Glass Industries to South Africa’s Consol group.

EABL, majority owned by Diageo, has said in a statement in local media that its directors have sold its entire stake in the Nairobi-based glass manufacturer, subject to approval from regulators in Kenya.

The glass maker has been owned by EABL for about 30 years, during which it supplied EABL’s subsidiaries and other food and beverage manufacturers with glass, especially the soft drinks businesses, in the region.

The glass maker has increasingly appeared not to meet Diageo’s strategic direction in the continent, where the company has been growing its beer and spirits businesses aggressively.

The company has invested recently in its Kenyan, Uganda, Tanzanian, Ethiopian and Nigerian operations in its quest to grab market share in an increasingly competitive landscape in Africa.

The company late 2014 invested about US$ 1 billion in a new furnace in the glass maker, probably as it planned to offload the company.

The Consol group, based in South Africa, is a diversified supplier of glass to the wine, food, beverages, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals to South Africa and the region. The company has four glass manufacturing sites in South Africa – Wadeville, Bellville, Clayville and Nilgel, which are based in Gauteng and Western Cape provinces.

According to its website, the companies footprint in South Africa comprises of 11 furnaces and 29 production lines, with a capacity to produce 890,000 tonnes of glass per year.

The acquisition of Central Glass Industries fits into Consol’s African strategy, after it acquired Glassforce, a glass manufacturer in Nigeria.

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