MMI pounces on South African market opportunity

Dubai-based drinks retailer, Maritime & Mercantile International (MMI), has acquired a South African distributor and the right to distribute Asahi’s portfolio in the country as it seeks to capitalise on the market’s “size and opportunity”.

MMI has said it has acquired a majority stake in ‘Brand 2 Consumer Premium Drinks Company’ (B2C) and with it the distribution rights to the Asahi portfolio – including Peroni, Grolsch and Estrella – in South Africa.

Iain Delaney, chief operating officer at MMI (pictured), explained that the move was, “an extremely significant and exciting step towards our goal of becoming the leading premium independent beverage distributor in emerging markets.”

B2C CEO and founder, Peter Hart commented on the deal:” B2C is delighted to now be partnering with MMI on the next stage of our exciting journey. This announcement alongside the fantastic news that we have secured the Asahi portfolio distribution rights will see us bring some of the world’s best liquor brands to the South African market including premium imported Italian beer brand Peroni.

“B2C offers increased choice to South Africa with a portfolio which features internationally leading brands in multiple categories and we are uniquely placed to bring these international premium brands to the emerging main market.”

B2C was founded just 18 months ago and also has distribution rights for the C&C Group including their premium cider brands and beer brand Tennent’s, and distribution for Stellenbosch Vineyards local South African portfolio.

MMI already has subsidiaries and joint ventures in 40 countries across Africa, the Middle East, Gulf and South East Asia and its move into South Africa follows successful operations that have been set up in Tanzania, Zanzibar and Ethiopia, as well as the most recent expansion into the Seychelles.

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