Meta Abo Brewery completes latest phase of expansion with $119m bottling line

3 Mar 2015 | Press release

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Investment by Diageo plc. at Meta Abo now total of $344m Capacity at the brewery is tripled just 3 years after acquisition

Dr Debretsion Gebremichael, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Communication and Information Technology, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chief Executive of Diageo Plc., Ivan Menezes, have officially opened1 Meta Abo Brewery''s new $119m bottling line expansion in Sebeta marking the culmination of $344 million investment by Diageo plc.2 The investment triples the annual capacity of the brewery to 1.7m HL just three years after acquisition, ensuring that the brewery can meet future consumer demand and support the introduction of new product innovations to the Ethiopian market such as Zemen Lager Beer launched by Meta Abo in December 2014.

The commissioning included a ribbon cutting ceremony by Dr. Debretsion and Ivan Menezes, in Meta''s newest bottling line. The German-manufactured Krones bottling line uses state of the art technology, including flash pasteurization, to package products without any human intervention - achieving even higher quality control and upgrading the brewery''s packaging capacity by nearly 50%. The new line is highly efficient, reducing waste and the amount of water used in the brewing process.

At the commissioning ceremony, Ivan Menezes said of Diageo''s investment in Meta Abo, "We are now celebrating three years since the acquisition of Meta Abo and are proud to have arrived at another significant milestone in our brewery''s growth with the commissioning of the new production line.

Today marks an exciting new chapter in our journey here in Ethiopia as we look ahead to the next three years and beyond. Ethiopia is a country of enormous opportunity. Our commitment here, and to Africa as a whole, is absolute. We will continue to invest in the long-term growth of our brands, the Meta business, our people and the communities in which we operate, for the benefit of all."

Following the brewery commissioning, Ivan Menezes officially opened Meta Abo’s newest Water of Life project in Sebeta - part of Diageo''s flagship Water of Life programme which has provided 50,000 beneficiaries in Ethiopia with access to clean drinking water. The new project will provide clean water to 2,000 households in Sebeta through a borehole that the community will independently manage.

Since Diageo''s acquisition of Meta Abo Brewery in January 2012, the company has adhered to a clear strategy with the aim of transforming the brewing industry in Ethiopia. Over the last 3 years Diageo has invested in Meta Abo employees with training and skills development; supported local communities through provision of clean water and formed close partnerships with local farmers; re-launched the Meta brand and now tripled capacity at the brewery, providing a strong platform for future growth of Meta Abo.

1 The opening ceremony happened on Wednesday 25 February 2015

2 Including acquisition Meta Abo by Diageo in 2012