case studies

The future’s bright

Dashen – set to be the Ethiopian nation’s beer of choice.

Vasari’s rich heritage of exploring and operating in frontier markets led the team to identifying Ethiopia as having a number of highly compelling investment attributes, namely; stable government, impressive economic growth, and a rapidly expanding population.

At the time of Vasari’s investment in 2012, Dashen Brewery was a stable company with a popular product and a reasonable portion of the market. It represented a great growth opportunity, though was in need of backing and multinational experience to take it to the next level.

Dashen is one of the largest brewers in Ethiopia by capacity, and is the only brewery in the northwest region of Gondor. It’s also the only Ethiopian brewery that adheres to the German purity law that regulates the ingredients used in beer production.

Following Vasari’s investment a new CEO and Chairman were assigned, each bringing more than 25 years of international experience in the beverages industry. Vasari supports them, the local management and its partners closely with production, finance and marketing experts, as well as the funding required to expand and succeed. As a result, Dashen has undergone a transformation that sustainably builds on its potential. Every aspect of the company’s activity, from the sourcing of raw materials to the brewing process, distribution and sales, to environmental, social, and health and safety responsibilities, has received careful analysis and appropriate levels of improvement in line with international best practices.

The potential to quadruple capacity.

Across the board, growing Dashen’s presence and capabilities has moved at pace. Since the investment, the existing Gondor brewery had been successfully enhanced. The objective is to prepare the company for a shift from its supply driven position and experiencing significant over-demand, to being customer driven and highly competitive, ultimately able to compete favourably in an internationalising market . To that end, a second larger brewery has been built from scratch to the best international standards, utilising state-of-the-art equipment to make it by far the most modern brewing facility in Africa, with the potential to quadruple the brewery’s capacity.

The visionary plan has also seen a redesigned distribution strategy, as well as new branding and ambitious marketing innovations.

No. 1 beer in Ethiopia

As development momentum gathers and quality reputation grows, expect to hear more of this vibrant, Ethiopian company, as it progresses towards recognition as Ethiopian’s beer of choice.

Vasari – proud award winners.

As forward-thinking investors, Vasari are proud to have been voted the winner of the prestigious Special Recognition Award for New Frontier Deal at the Private Equity Africa GP & Advisor Awards in 2013 and 2014.