ETHIOPIA – Dashen Brewery S.C., a major player in the rapidly developing Ethiopian Beer Market, has completed expansion of two of its breweries i.e., Debre Berhan and Gondar at a cost of over 1.7 billion Birr (US$32.7m).

Expansion of the project has significantly increased the beer maker’s annual production capacity by 1.6 million hectolitres as Dashen Brewery’s capacity has stretched from 3.2 million hectolitres to 4.4 million hectolitres.

Meanwhile, the factory in Gondar has increased its capacity from 800,000 hectares to 1.2 million hectolitres.

The added capability is set to enable Dashen to launch new products in the market and increase sales volumes, making its brands widely available across the country.

In addition, the investment will increase the company’s local raw material sourcing capabilities especially for barley and create both direct and in direct employment opportunities, reports Ethiopian Reporter.

The investment in the facilities was made possible courtesy of the recent US$100 million fundraising undertaken by one of its major owners, Vasari Global, an Africa-focused multinational consumer goods company.

Vasari owns 98% of the controlling offshore company of Dashen Brewery S.C., having acquired the Duet Private Equity minority investors.

The other minority shareholder of the brewery is TIRET Group (TIRET), an Ethiopian endowment fund.

Being a leading frontier and emerging markets alcoholic beverage investor with over 40 years of experience, Vasari first gained interest in Dashen Beer in 2012.

In the earlier years it spearheaded the construction of a state-of-the-art continuous brewery under Dashen Brewery which effectively raised its production capacity fivefold from 0.5 to 2.5 million hectolitres.

In 2014 it acquired majority stake of Ethiopian based distiller Rorank Business S.C., one of the largest vertically integrated distillers in Eastern Africa.

This was followed with its purchase of operational assets of South African wine producer KWV for US$85million.

The recent expansion in the maker of Dashen beer brand is set to heighten competition in the Ethiopian beer sector currently dominated by BGI Castel, Habesha Breweries, Heineken, among others.

BGI recently 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.

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