Vasari TNB

Vasari, a UK-based private equity firm, has expanded its presence in Africa with the acquisition of majority ownership in South African spirits business TNB for an undisclosed sum.

The acquisition is in line with the company’s strategy to build a world class FMCG portfolio across Africa and Asia.

Established in 1999, TNB currently markets and distributes its brands in South Africa from 12 distribution centres, covering more than 90% of the local retail spirits market.

The company offers a range of flavoured liqueurs, creams and infused whisky brands including, Ponchos, Carvo, Kandi, Fruit Lagoon, Sally Williams and new brands Peacasso, Fuego and Republic.

It serves Nigeria and Zimbabwe as well as international markets including Australia.

Vasari plans to make an initial investment of ZAR200m in TNB to position it as a mainstream spirits company and enter the untapped African markets with mergers and acquisitions to support its regional and international expansion plans.

Vasari chairman Vivian Imerman said that this is the company’s first spirits investment following the ending of a five year restraint after the successful exit of Whyte and Mackay in 2007.

Imerman said, "TNB is uniquely placed to tap into the rising consumer demand for pleasant tasting liqueurs and spirits and we see this trend gaining momentum not just in South Africa but across the continent.

"We are appointing top industry talent to drive our ambitious plans for the business and we will be moving quickly to grow share and extend our reach into new markets."

The company, meanwhile, appointed ex-SABMiller senior executive Pedro Lotra as CEO.

Lotra said, "Vasari’s phenomenal track record building winning consumer brands demonstrates the transformative impact generated for its portfolio businesses and I am looking forward to working closely with Vivian and the team to unlock significant value and growth for TNB."

Image: The acquisition is in line with Vasari’s strategy to build a world class FMCG portfolio across Africa and Asia. Photo courtesy of Gualberto107 at