BUSINESS NEWS - A subsidiary of the Dubai-based Emirates Group, Maritime & Mercantile International (MMI), has acquired a majority stake in local beverage distribution start-up Brand 2 Consumer Premium Drinks Company (B2C).
Maritime and Mercantile is the biggest liquor distributor in the Middle East and aims to become the leading independent distributor in Africa and South East Asia.
Its South African investment follows others in Tanzania, Zanzibar, Ethiopia and most recently, the Seychelles.
For B2C the investment secures it the South African distribution rights to Japanese beverage giant Asahi’s portfolio of drinks.
This includes premium beer brands Peroni and Grolsch, which Asahi acquired from AB InBev following its acquisition of SAB Miller.
Peter Hart, former strategy director of Brandhouse and before that, Heineken regional director for the Middle East and Africa, launched B2C in 2015.
“South Africa is an exciting market. I come from New Zealand, which is a mature market where it takes years to gain incremental market share. There is so much opportunity here,” he says.