Diageo finalizes expansion of its US$14m Malt bottling plant in Ethiopia

ETHIOPIA – Meta Abo Brewery, the Ethiopian subsidiary of Diageo company has completed the expansion of its US$14m non-alcoholic beverage factory that produces the first Malta Guinness packed in plastic bottles.

Malta Guinness is Africa’s leading non-alcoholic, adult, premium soft drink. It was launched in Cameroon in 1984 and introduced in Ethiopia in 2013.

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Today Malta Guinness is a hugely successful and profitable brand available in 11 Countries i.e. Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Gabon, Togo.

The new plant, located on the premises of the factory has a capacity to produce 32,000 bottles an hour.

The new product joined the market in early January packaged in 330ml plastic bottles i.e. 6 and 12 packs.

The company, which formerly bottled only non-alcoholic beverages in glass containers, introduced the new plastic bottles to increase their reach and for ease of use, according to Sisay Zerihun, corporate relations director of Diageo.

The price of the new product is 20 Br, three Br more than the product sold in glass bottles.

Darcha Mekonnen, innovation brand manager of the company explained that the plastic bottles are dark in colour to protect the drink from direct exposure to sunlight.

Krones, a German company, was the contractor for the project where it installed its own brand of machinery imported from Germany.

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Meta Abo Brewery established in 1967 was previously owned by the Ethiopian government.

In 2012, Diageo acquired the Brewery for cash consideration of US$225 million and invested US$119 million in its expansion.

The acquisition concluded a competitive tender process held by the Privatization and Public Enterprises Supervising Authority on behalf of the Government of Ethiopia giving Diageo direct access to the rapidly growing Ethiopian beer market, and complementing Its’s existing premium spirits business in the country.

Diageo, a global company, operates in more than 180 countries with brands that include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, J&B, Buchanan’s, Smirnoff and Guinness.

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