Centum Investments Wanted A Swig Of The Alcohol But Now They Are Bailing After Coughing Up Millions In Losses

By  |  August 20, 2019

Kenya’s Investments firm, Centum Investments is known for its investments in various businesses ranging from vehicle assembly, catering company, publisher and commercial bank. However, it seems local drinking business has not proved fruitful for the firm which has sold its shares in several drink firms in Kenya.

This was heightened after it announced on Monday that it has sold its remaining shares in Kings Beverages Limited to Danish Brewing Company EA Limited at a loss of KSh370 million.

The sale comes almost two months after it concluded a similar deal where it sold all its shares in Almasi Beverages Limited (ABL) and Nairobi Bottlers (NBL) to Coca-Cola Sabco East Africa Limited, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa for Sh19.5 billion.

Centum Investment Group CEO James Mworia confirmed that the firm had finalized the agreement to sell its entire stake which is valued at an estimated Sh471 million.

The investment firm said that it sold its shares at Kings Beverage Limited for Sh130 million against the Sh 500 million it had invested in the firm, this reflects a 74% decline of the total capital.

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Kings Beverages Limited is famously known for selling and distributing Carlsberg brands and few Edrington and Gray spirits in Kenya.

Since 2014, the firm had secured exclusive rights to import and distribute its beers include; Carlsberg, Tuborg, New Grove, and Jim Beam among others.

Centum was supposed to increase the volume of the business, under an import model before eventually turning into local production of the alcoholic beverages.

However, it said that the business has been tough in the market faced by challenges, like competition from gray products and parallel imports of similar products.

“It was evident that the business would not be able to scale up volumes to warrant further investment by Centum into local production.

“Consequently, Centum made the decision to exit the business having deployed the internally approved investment amount of approximately Sh500 million into the business under the import model,” part of the statement added.

In effect, the investment firm has said that it would shun off investments in new ventures or start-ups and instead go for more mature investments with more assured returns.

Featured Image Courtesy: Capitalfm.co.ke

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