Distell Poised To Play Expanded New Role in East African Region

Nairobi Kenya, June 2012… Distell, a leading producer of spirits, fine wines, ciders and ready-to-drinks and an active player on the African continent, is poised to play an expanded role in Kenya. In a venture that will have a positive impact on the East African region as a whole, Distell Wine Masters Limited will become responsible for Distell’s entire line-up of products sold in the region. Among these are well-known brands like Viceroy and Amarula. This move will be supported by investment in new, state-of-the-art, production facilities, paving the way for further expansion in the region.

At the same time, Distell is phasing out its current bottling and distribution agreement with Kenya Wine Agency Limited (KWAL). James Wahome, General Manager of Distell Winemasters in Kenya, said KWAL had played a major role in the growth of Distell in Kenya during their 14-year business relationship. However, a changed competitive landscape had made it necessary for Distell to build additional capacity to capture future growth opportunities. This was only possible by investing directly in Kenya and through an active involvement in local and regional marketing and distribution activities.

Wahome explained that these developments reflected the greater strategic focus that Distell was giving to East Africa. “We want to capitalize on the exciting growth opportunities offered by the region – not just through investment in Kenya but also by intensifying our involvement in local and regional marketing and distribution activities.  We are committed to strengthening the Kenyan skills base in production, marketing and distribution while contributing to an already vibrant regional economic hub. We believe that our investment will provide a springboard for further developments within the region.”

Under the present agreement KWAL has handled the bottling and distribution of several spirits brands, including Viceroy, Castle Brand Aperitif, Clubman Punch, as well as the distribution of Amarula and wine brands Drostdy-Hof and Cellar Cask.  All these brands will in future form part of the Distell Winemasters Limited portfolio, along with popular wines such as Nederburg and Overmeer.

Wahome says, “Following our long and fruitful relationship with KWAL, we look forward to Kenyan participation in our restructured operations. Local participation in our operations, wherever we do business, has always been central to our strategy and critical to our success. We believe there are significant win-win opportunities in Kenya for Distell and the people of the region. We have already appointed advisers to assist us with exploring opportunities. Once we have finality on how these can best be pursued, we shall make more details known.”