Kenya’s East African Breweries Limited (EABL) has signed a definitive agreement for the sale of its glass subsidiary business, Central Glass Industries (CGI) to South Africa’s Consol Glass.

Consol’s Chief Executive Officer Mike Arnold said the deal was a further step in creating a pan-African glass packaging company, adding to Consol’s existing manufacturing sites in South Africa and Nigeria.

He said: “This transaction is a win-win for all parties including employees who will all be absorbed under the current terms and conditions of employment.”

EABL Group Managing Director Charles Ireland said the company decided to leave the glass business to focus on its core business.

He said: “We are pleased to be able to make this move as it will inject additional expertise into the business.”

He added EABL will remain the primary customer for CGI products and will be able continue to access glass at competitive pricing. It will also be able to tap into the benefits of increased efficiencies at the glass plant and any future plans to expand glass manufacturing capacity.

Consol exports to more than 15 African countries. It was founded in the 1940s and is the largest glassmaker in Africa.

The company has four production sites, 11 furnaces and 29 production lines in South Africa and a furnace and two production lines in Nigeria. Its combined capacity is 900,000 tons or an equivalent 3½ billion glass bottles.

CGI was established in 1987 to produce glass containers in flint, amber and green to international standards.

The transition is expected to be concluded within two months. The sale is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

Greg Morris