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Bavaria Buys Bankrupt South African Brewer to Expand in Africa

Bavaria NV, the second-biggest Dutch brewer, and its South African partners bought the assets of a bankrupt South African beer maker, Bavaria Brau, for 35 million rand ($5.3 million) to expand outside its home market.

The South African brewer will be Bavaria’s first brewery outside the Netherlands, the Lieshout-based company said in an e- mailed statement. Bavaria, a family owned business, sells its beer in 93 countries, it said.

"We see opportunity in the growing South African market and particularly in its premium sector," said Han van der Veen, a member of Bavaria’s executive board. "We also believe that our South African presence could in due course serve as a springboard for expansion elsewhere into Africa."

Beer sales in South Africa amounted to 24.5 million hectoliters last year. Bavaria Brau’s brewery near Johannesburg has been standing idle since the company filed for bankruptcy last year. The plant is in need of repairs before production could start, Van der Veen said. The Dutch company will own 60 percent of the plant and South African investors the rest.

Bloomberg - 8 March 2004
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