ETHIOPIANS TODAY, ADDIS ABABA (FINFINNEE), ETHIOPIA:
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Castle group acquires Meta Abo brewery
Castel group buys Diageo’s Meta Abo Brewery, with the transfer of the factory awaiting government approval.
The brewery which is based out of Sebeta, Oromia region has about 3.7 billion birr in government tax debt starting from 2017. According to sources that Capital spoke to who are close to the issue, the factory has been sold to Castel with negotiations considering the effect of the seizure of the factory by the government. However, the transaction cost is yet to be officially disclosed. The sale, which is subject to approval by the Ethiopian Competition Commission, is expected to be complete during the first quarter of 2022.
Meta Abo was sold to Diageo in 2012 after privatization at a price tag of 225 million dollars. After acquiring the factory in 2012, Diageo made 119 million dollars in investment for the expansion of the factory, and has since has pumped a total of 344 million dollars in investment throughout the years for its expansion with the aim of transforming the brewing industry in Ethiopia. The brewery also supported local communities through provision of clean water.
Meta Abo brewery was established by the Ethiopian government and Ethiopian private nationals in 1963 as a share company. Initially, the production capacity of the brewery was 50,000hl per annum, however, with Diageo’s investment, which was detailed back in 2015 saw the company re-launching the Meta brand.
Following the acquisition, Meta Abo joins BGI’s other five breweries i.e., St. George Brewery in Addis Ababa, Kombolcha Brewery, Hawassa Brewery, Zebidar Brewery and Maychew Northern Brewery with a combined production capacity of 3.6 million Hectoliters of beer annually.
The company also owns and manages the Castel Winery and vineyard located in the town of Zeway. Established in 2012, the winery produces 12,000 Hectoliters of different wine varieties annually under the brand names Acacia and Rift Valley. St George, Ethiopia’s oldest beer brand, was also bought by France’s Castel Group in 1998.
Source: Capital Ethiopia
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