AB InBev to spend $310m in Africa
Brewer is eyeing projects in Ghana, Zambia and Nigeria, and increasing output at its two biggest plants in SA
AB InBev is looking to spend $250 million (R3.24 billion) on a greenfields expansion project in Nigeria, as well as spending $30 million on expanding its operations in Zambia and Ghana for a total investment of $310 million. This according to sources close to AB InBev, who wished to remain anonymous.
Trevor Sanderson, the vice-president of supply and manufacturing at AB InBev and its subsidiary, SA Breweries (SAB), said AB InBev was planning to set up a new brewery in Nigeria and was working with the relevant authorities to ensure that all approvals were in place.
“We are constantly reviewing our businesses across Africa to assess opportunities, and we will be in a position to speak further about this in due course,” he added.
Ricardo Tadeu, president of the new Africa zone in AB InBev, said the multinational brewing company would announce “a package of investments in Africa in the next few months”.
These investments would comprise a mix of greenfield projects, an increase in brewing capacity as well as new packaging lines.
Tadeu declined to provide figures for these investments. Last week, SAB announced that it was investing
R2.8 billion in brewery expansions at its Alrode and Rosslyn breweries in Gauteng and would introduce two new packaging lines for returnable glass bottles.
The local expansion will create about 70 more jobs.
In October, AB InBev bought its global rival SABMiller for more than $100 billion. The last investment made by SABMiller in terms of new capacity in South Africa was in 2008.
SAB has seven local breweries that produce for the mass market. They are situated in various provinces, namely:
. KwaZulu-Natal: Prospecton Brewery in Durban
. Western Cape: Newlands Brewery in Cape Town
. Eastern Cape: Ibhayi Brewery in Port Elizabeth
. Gauteng: Alrode, Rosslyn and Chamdor breweries
. Limpopo: Polokwane Brewery The Chamdor Brewery, located on Johannesburg’s West Rand, is a small research and development establishment which also produces craft beers.
Tadeu told City Press that for now, the expansion at the Alrode and Rosslyn breweries were the only projects that the company was working on in South Africa. “We are analysing the portfolio. There are some individual investments that we need to make in some categories. More things are going to come,” he said. Tadeu added that the company was not looking to do any acquisitions in the local market at the moment.
“Everything depends on opportunities. When it comes to business, you can never say never.” Regarding the Alrode and Rosslyn breweries, Tadeu said they had “very high utilisation levels” and the expansion would give the group an opportunity to grow.
He singled out SAB’s premium brand, Flying Fish, as one that could be expanded.
Although AB InBev has been looking to produce Budweiser and Stella Artois at its local plants, this will not