Viceroy Owners Acquire More Shares to Gain Control of Kwal

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South African owners of Amarula and Viceroy brands are now the majority owners of Kenya Wine Agencies Ltd after buying out investment firm Centum in a deal estimated at Sh1 billion.

Distell yesterday announced it has acquired Centum’s entire 26.43 per cent stake in Kwal for an unknown value, bringing its ownership in the wine-maker and alcoholic beverages marketer to 52.43 per cent.

“Spirits has been the fastest growing segment of Kenya’s alcoholic beverage industry and growth is anticipated to remain robust going forward,” said Donovan Hegland, managing director at Distell Africa.

“Our strategy is to expand geographically through acquisitions of and/or partnerships with regional scale players who have leading brands, rich heritage, and strong platforms in their core markets,” Mr Hegland said in a statement.

The Stellenbosch-based brewer first acquired a 26 per cent stake for Sh860 million from the Kenyan government, which owns Kwal through the Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation (ICDC). State-backed financer ICDC owns 42.65 per cent stake in Kwal, with distributors having 0.92 per cent.

There is an ongoing sale of 3.84 million shares or four per cent stake at a price of Sh34.46 a piece to staff under an employee stock ownership plan. The acquisition comes barely three months after Kenya’s antitrust regulator has granted Kwal a five-year exclusive deal to import and distribute 16 brands made by South African brewer Distell.

The Competition Authority of Kenya in December allowed Kwal to deal in the brands made up of brandy, wines, whiskey from the South African company. Distell brands such as Amarula, Viceroy, Drostdy-Hof, Two Oceans account for half of Kwal’s turnover

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