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Vasari Beverages plans Ethiopian brewing, distilling expansion

Vasari Beverages has secured funding to increase production at its Dashen Brewery and Rorank Business distillery divisions in Ethiopia, while also looking for M&A opportunities across Africa and Asia.

The company, controlled by the former head of Whyte & Mackay, Vivian Imerman, confirmed earlier today it has successfully raised US$100m in capital funds. Vasari, which owns 98% of Dashen’s controlling parent company, said it will use some of the money to boost capacity at Dashen’s breweries in Ethiopia from the current annual maximum of 2.5m hectolitres to 5m.

At the same time, Rorank, which owns the Super Eagle and Crystal spirits brands, will benefit from a cash injection to build a new distillery in Ethiopia. Once complete, annual capacity will jump from 8m litres of alcohol to 25m.

“Over the past six years, we have been involved in the deployment of more than US$250m in capital investment to develop our frontier and emerging markets beverage strategy,” said Vasari Group CEO Imerman. “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.”

While today’s statement noted “the pursuit of new acquisitions and greenfield developments across Africa and Asia”, further details of the expansion plans beyond Ethiopia were not disclosed.

Five years ago, Vasari has bought a controlling stake in South African spirits producer TNB.

Beer in Ethiopia – Volume Trends 2014-2023

Created with Highcharts 5.0.0in m hectolitres2014201520162017201820192020202120222023Volumes051015202530just-drinks.com
Volumes
2022: 22.36

Source: GlobalData

Ethiopia’s beer market has been growing at a remarkable rate in recent years, with volumes jumping from 5.6m hectolitres in 2014 to an estimated 13m hectolitres last year. According to GlobalData, these rises are set to continue, breaking 25m hectolitres in 2023.