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Wednesday, 5 December, 2001, 16:58 GMT
Nigerian rival to South African beer
South African drinkers enjoying South African Breweries (SAB beer
South African Breweries could face competition from its Nigerian rival
Nigeria Breweries aims to establish itself as a regional rival to South African Breweries, thanks to the backing of Dutch brewer Heineken.

Heineken has invested $700m - its largest investment outside of Europe - in Nigeria Breweries, an investment which secures its control of the country's biggest brewer.

Many international breweries - such as Heineken - have targeted developing countries, as developed world markets have matured.

Lagos street scene

The biggest foreign investment in Nigeria in recent years, outside the oil and gas sector, has been in the brewing industry.

"Nigeria is a big market, we are not in a hurry to export unless we satisfy this market," Nigeria Breweries' chief executive Festus Odimago told the BBC's World Business Report.

"The moment the supply capacity, the logistics capacity, is adequate to satisfy this home market, we will go properly into well structured export business, better than we ever done.

"We will be in Cameroon, we will be in the Ivory Coast, we will be in all those African countries where Heineken hasn't got an operating company."

The money invested by Heineken will be used to build a sixth brewery as well as renovate the company's five existing breweries, he added.

South African Breweries has successfully built its business in other African countries, but has so far not targeted Nigeria.

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Nigeria Breweries' Festus Odimago
"We will be in all those African countries where Heineken hasn't got an operating company"
See also:

29 Nov 01 | Business
Currency woes hit SAB profits
07 Sep 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Nigeria
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