ETHIOPIA – Vasari Beverages B.V., an alcoholic beverage investor, has completed a US$100million capital raise to fund a set of growth opportunities including expansion of its existing beverage operations in Ethiopia.
The funding which was led by RMB, a leading pan-African investment bank, will also support the firm’s pursuit of new acquisitions and greenfield developments across Africa and Asia.
Led by Vivian Imerman, the group has invested across emerging and developed markets including Scottish distiller Whyte & Mackay, Global fruit-based drinks and products company Del Monte International and confectionary producer Nabisco SA.
“Over the past 6 years we have been involved in the deployment of more than US$250million in capital investment to develop our frontier and emerging markets beverage strategy.
“Vasari Beverages has a highly activist investment approach and seeks to build long term sustainable value.
“This capital injection is a step forward in pursuing our investment strategy across compelling opportunities in our target regions,” said Vasari Group chief executive, Vivian Imerman, while commenting on the capital raise.
Vasari Beverages owns 98% of the controlling offshore company of Dashen Brewery S.C., one of Ethiopia’s largest breweries, having acquired the Duet Private Equity minority investors over the past three years.
Since the first investment in 2012, the group has been instrumental in the deployment of US$120million to grow production capacity.
Notably, the group has spearheaded the construction of a state-of-the-art continuous brewery under Dashen Brewery which has effectively raised its production capacity fivefold from 0.5 to 2.5 million hectolitres.
Dashen will use some of the capital raised by Vasari to double total production capacity to 5 million hectolitres.
Vasari also plans to invest in boosting production capacity at Ethiopian based distiller Rorank Business S.C., one of the largest vertically integrated distillers in Eastern Africa.
In 2014 Vasari acquired a majority stake in the business and to date the company has invested US$50million and grown the workforce to over 500 people by investing in new capacity, brand development and strengthening sales infrastructure.
Rorank, which produces the Super Eagle and Crystal brands, will use some of the capital raised to build a new distillery, tripling the annual capacity of the business from the current 8 million litres of alcohol to 25 million litres capacity.
Recently, Vasari acquired the operational assets of South African wine producer KWV for US$85million -in 2016.
Vasari Beverages is a leading frontier and emerging markets alcoholic beverage investor with over 40 years of experience operating market-leading consumer goods companies.