Kenyan beverages firm to import Bacardi in exclusive deal

The deal will see Wow import and distribute 214 premium wine and spirits brands

The company, owned by tycoon businessman Humphrey Kariuki, will import, purchase, promote, distribute and sell a selected portfolio of products for seven liquor manufacturers and suppliers.

They include Gallo Vineyards Inc (which trades as E&J Gallow Winery Europe), Vina San Pedro Tarapasca SA, Felix Solis Avantis SA, Afrique Interlink (PTY), Interlink (PTY) Limited, Edrington Group Limited and Tradall SA (Bacardi-Martini Group).

The deal will give Wow the largest product variety, beating its rivals including East African Breweries (EABL) which has tens of brands.

WOW has already applied to the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) seeking approval for its exclusive distribution deal given the potential market concentration. The application, if approved, will lock out potential rivals.

Interested parties have 30 days to submit their written representations on the matter before the regulator makes its decision on the application.

The agreements will broaden Wow’s liquor portfolio which includes whisky brands Jack Daniels, The Famous Grouse, The Macallan; wine labels Graham Beck, ST Remy; and gin brand Bombay Sapphire.

International alcoholic beverage companies are eyeing Kenya’s growing consumer market on the back of increased spending on luxury goods and services by the country’s rich and middle class.

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