ETHIOPIA – BGI Ethiopia, subsidiary of the Castel Group has received the green Light from the Trade Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (TCCPA), to finalize acquisition of the Meta Abo Brewery from British multinational beverage alcohol company Diageo.

The beer giant’s prospect of expanding dominance in the local market with acquisition of sector’s competitor was first announced beginning of the year in January.

The acquisition is set to extend presence of BGI, which currently boasts of having over 50 percent market share of the Ethiopian beer market.

In addition, it will boost its current production capacity from 5.2m Hectolitres (HL) to 6,400 000 HL.

The Diageo owned brewery joins BGI’s other five breweries i.e., St. George Brewery in Addis Ababa, the Kombolcha Brewery, the Hawassa Brewery, Zebidar Brewery and Machew Northern Brewery.

The company also owns and manages the Castel Winery and vineyard located in the town of Zeway. Established in 2012, the winery produces 12,000 Hectoliters of different wine varieties annually under the brand names Acacia and Rift Valley. It is home to five iconic beer brands and a non-alcoholic malt brand.

“To Meta Abo brewery -Executives, Employees’, the sebeta community and partners – I welcome you to the BGI family – We have an exciting vision that will see meta bigger and better than before, and I am committed to see that through,” said BGI Ethiopia’s CEO Mr Laurent Lescuyer.

Her Excellency Alfiya Abdu, the Mayor of Sebeta City excitedly welcomed the approval by TCCPA stating, “I am very happy and pleased to welcome BGI Ethiopia to Sebeta. It is our firm believe BGI Ethiopia will restore Meta’s glory and reputation by repeating the same success which we have witnessed in other areas.

“We are convinced this acquisition will save jobs and enhance economic activity in and around sebeta. As such my office is committed to support BGI and its management to have a smooth transition.”

It is recalled that Diageo bought Meta Abo Brewery in Ethiopia in January 2012 from the government for US$225 million in a privatization deal.

Despite BGI setting itself up as the dominant player in the country’s alcohol beverage sector, the company is facing heightened competition from both local and international entities such as Heineken, Habesha Breweries, Komari Beverages, among others.

According to Market Research, the beer market in Ethiopia was valued at US$1.07 billion in 2015, with the market expected to reach US$3.12 billion in 2025, registering a CAGR of 10.25% per annum.

One of the most important trends on the beer market is the shift in consumer preference towards low and non-alcohol beers, as well as craft beers.

To this end, Komari Beverages debuted the first hard seltzer brand in the Ethiopian market last year April with the launch of new liqueur brand dubbed Arada.

Meanwhile BGI introduced its first ever non-alcoholic malt-based beverage called SEN’Q into the local market in 2020.

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