Who Owns EABL? Diageo Limited, and their Whisky Brands

East Afrcan Breweries Limited well known as EABL is among the biggest companies in Kenya and East Africa. The multi-billion company operates as one of the two beer manufacturing companies in Kenya and for so long the company has been enjoying a good market reach with the back-and-forth tax scandal of Keroche Breweries the profits doubles.

Most of you might think the company is a state-owned company considering the attention and the protection it receives from states. However, the company was founded by a private company and currently another private company is holding the controlling shares thus making it the official owner of the company.

In this, article we tell the story and genesis of EABL, we also cover the founders and the current owners as well as other shareholders of the company.

Who Owns EABL?

Who Owns EABL?
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Diageo Limited is currently the majority shareholder of EABL at 53% thus carrying the controlling power in the ownership table. The rest of the shares are divided among different companies, including Harding Loevner at 1.76% valued at 13.93 million Ksh, Templeton Asset Management LTD at 1.49% valued at 11.81 million, and others.

Prior to rebranding to East African Breweries Limited, the company was known as Kenya Breweries Limited founded by two white settlers, Charles Hurst and his partner George. Following its establishment, it came under the ownership of the Dodd Family of Kenya.

The company was founded in 1922 but in 1935 and 1936 the company managed to secure Tanganyika Breweries which later became Tanzania Breweries Limited. Following the acquisition of the company the EABL was born and in 1954 it was listed on the Nairobi Securities Exchange. In 1959, the company extended to Uganda securing the Uganda Breweries.

Despite the success, the company maintained its headquarters in Nairobi Kenya and its success has been unmatched for years and it’s ranked as one of the wealthiest companies in Africa.

Diageo Limited Taking Over

After running the company for over three decades, in the 1990s, the Dodd family began reducing their shareholding and Kenyans started being major shareholders. In late 1990, the beer war began between EABL and South African Breweries International (SABMiller). In the middle of the war, Diageo, a drink giant acquired the controlling shares becoming the new owners of the company.

In 2002, the war was settled in a mutual agreement after EABL agreed to sign a 20% equity stake in TBL and exited the market leaving SABI ((SABMiller) as the major manufacturer in Tanzania the same happened to the Kenyan market, as SABI got the same share and exited the Kenyan market.

Since the takeover, Diageo has managed to keep the company profitable, their experience in the alcohol drink industry is impressive considering they also own other big beer companies in the United Kingdom. On top of that, Diageo is also the company behind the ownership of the famous whisky, Johnie Walker, J&B as well as Vat 69.

Under, the ownership of Diageo, EABL has managed to acquire 51% of Serengeti Breweries Limited (SBL). Additionally, in 2013 EABL launched its operations in South Sudan, establishing the East African Beverages South Sudan Limited (EABSS). The launch has marked a depot in Juba in order to reduce over-reliance on third-party distributors.

Diageo Limited Beer and Whisky Brands