CBE approves 1.5 billion Birr loan to Breweries

CBEHeineken amasses over half billion birr, awaits three billion.

It was just few weeks ago that Raya and Habesha, two new and upcoming breweries, secured loans of more than a billion birr from the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE) for the construction of new factories.

Then on Thursday (22), the CBE approved a loan to Heineken that amounts to some 850 million birr. The Dutch brewer owns both the Bedele and Harar brands, earning USD 163 million last year. The total loan approved to the four breweries totaled 1.5 billion birr. Meta Abo Brewery, owned by the London-based Diageo, has also secured a loan from the state-owned commercial bank.

Sources from the CBE confirmed that it has agreed to disburse 304 million birr for Bedele and 281 million birr for the Harar breweries, revealing that Heineken will increase the current production from 300 thousand hectoliters to 450 thousand hectoliters. However, it is to be recalled that Heineken applied for 403 million birr for Harar and 331 million birr for Bedele’s expansion. The Netherlands-based Heineken is waiting for the CBE’s response to loan requests amounting to three billion birr. According to sources from the CBE, Heineken will learn about the approval next month. Heineken launched the new brewery Greenfield in March this year, which will eventually have the capacity to produce three million hectoliters.

Multi-link Consulting Services is the local firm behind the feasibility studies for the expansions and newly planned projects in the beverage industry. Samson Tsedeke, founder and chief of the firm, was approached by The Reporter but declined to provide financial details of his clients and his company’s stake in the feasibility studies.

The ever-booming brewery industry is now under greater competition following the privatizations of all the state-owned factories, with the government pocketing some USD 386 million from the sale of three breweries.

Source: The Reporter

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