Centum signs distributorship deal for Beam Suntory

Centum signs distributorship deal for Beam Suntory

Investment firm Centum has signed a distribution deal, expanding into the premium alcoholics drinks market.

Through its subsidiary King Beverage, the firm will be the sole distributor for American based spirits maker Beam Suntory.

The deal was signed with Edrington FIX Middle East (EFME) that had the distribution rights for the Middle East North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa region.

King Beverage already has the exclusive distributorship rights for Danish beer maker Carlsberg in Kenya.

“Leveraging on our understanding of the local market, our goal is to work with likeminded International Partners to tap into the growing consumer base and create value not only to our shareholders, but most importantly to our consumers and customers,” King Beverage Managing Director John Ngelu said.

A report by the Scotch whisky association shows that Kenya consumed whisky worth Sh568 million in 2015, underlying the need by spirit makers to have strong distribution channels to reach consumers.

Beam Suntory is the third largest spirit maker with a portfolio mix that includes vodkas, rum and whiskies.

Brands under the Suntory Beam stable include Jim Beam, Courvoisier brandy and whiskies such as Yamakazi, Hakushu and Teachers.

King Beverages plans to use the distribution deal to create a multi-category alcohol distributor within the Kenyan market. To date, King Beverage has developed a substantial route to market footprint in major urban towns in Kenya with the aim of expanding the current portfolio.

Some of the products under the Beam Suntory banner have already been available in the market, but the move is expected to consolidate the distributorship and generate revenue for Centum.

“The potential of the Kenyan market is obvious but finding the right partner for the Beam Suntory portfolio to craft a new story in East-Africa and build an ambitious vision was a priority for us,” EFME Managing Director Igor Boyadijian said.

Imported premium brands are growing quickly driven by demand from the emerging middle class as they embrace the history and prestige of premium international brands.


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