KENYA – Danish Brewing East Africa Limited, a subsidiary of Bounty Global Management firm, has acquired Carlsberg and Tuborg beers distributor in Kenya, King Beverage Limited from Centum Investment.

Established in 2014, King Beverage enjoys exclusive rights to import and distribute such brands as Carlsberg and Tuborg beers, Teacher whisky and Jim Beam whiskeys in the country.

Centum Investment sold King Beverage, in which it held 100 per cent of the issued shares, for US$1.3 million (Sh130 million) against the US$5 million (Sh500 million) it had invested in the company.

Centum’s decision to offload the business comes five years after it invested in the company, with the investment firm noting that it has been struggling to make the business profitable.

Centum had expected to shift part of the business from import to local manufacturing, however, it has cited challenges in the alcoholic beverages industry to impede the expansion.

“The strategic intent by Centum was to grow volumes of the business, initially under an import model and later under local production.

“However, due to various industry challenges, including competition from gray products and parallel imports of similar products, it was evident that the business would not be able to scale up volumes to warrant the further investment by Centum into local production,” said Centum in a statement.

“Consequently, Centum made the decision to exit the business having deployed the internally approved investment amount of approximately Sh500 million (US$5 million) into the business under the import model.

“Centum has received a total purchase consideration of approximately Sh130 million (US$1.3 million), which is a part-recovery of the amount invested.

“The approximate Sh370 million (US$3.7 million) loss on investment represents 0.5 per cent of the total assets of Centum,” the public investment company said.

According to a report by The Standard, Centum also added that it would in future avoid investing in new ventures or start-ups and instead go for more mature investments where returns are almost guaranteed.

The sale comes two months after the company announced it was selling all its shares in two Kenyan Coca-Cola franchise bottlers; Almasi Beverages Limited (ABL) and Nairobi Bottlers (NBL) to Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) for US$192.5 million (Sh19.5 billion).

Centum, which operates as an affiliate of the Kenyan government-owned Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation has raised roughly US$363 million (Sh36.3bn) through partial or full exits in its investment portfolios in the past five years, leading to US$243 million (Sh24.3bn) capital gains.