KENYA – London-based brewer Diageo has said that it will be moving the Diageo Africa Business Service Centre (ABSC) away from its current offices in Nairobi, Kenya.

The move will see the company close the business support centre, which is the only shared service centre in Africa and one of five globally, and its role outsourced to other markets.

The unit runs back-office processes required for Diageo’s finance, supply, human resources and sales and marketing functions.

“The business services requirements and processes across Diageo Africa are changing and as such Diageo will be conducting a review of the centre to determine where best to locate technical services roles for Africa in either Europe or Asia,” the company said in a statement.

This will also see the brewer retrench more than 100 employees working in the unit. The retrenchments will be done gradually and conclude in March next year.

However, Diageo said the changes will not affect the core functions of its local subsidiary East African Breweries Limited (EABL).

Diageo in Africa

Diageo operates across several African markets including in Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, South Africa, Seychelles, and Cameroon. Guinness Cameroun is the world’s fifth largest Guinness market by volume and the second largest in Africa.

Diageo South Africa was officially established in 2015 but has had presence in the country form more than a century.  

On average, Africa accounts for 12% of Diageo’s total sales, generating US$1.66 billion during its 2018 financial year. The multinational has been increasing investment in the continent as it seeks to expand into the growing alcoholic beverage market.

EABL, whose business is concentrated in three core markets of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, has in the recent past made investments at its Nairobi brewery and plants in Uganda and Tanzania. It has also finalised the construction of the US$140 million (Sh14 billion) brewery in Kisumu.

According to EABL’s managing director, Andrew Cowan, the company has in the last five years alone, invested over US$400 million (Sh40.2 billion) across East Africa to expand its production capacity as part of the company’s expansion plan.