By Elias Gebreselassie
Monday, 09 January 2012 10:20
Access Capital has sold its majority stake in Debre Birhan Natural Spring Water Private Limited Company,
bottler of Aqua Safe mineral water back to its original owner for an undisclosed sum, Capital learnt.
Gebeyaw Takele, General Manager and owner of Debre Birhan Natural Spring Water PLC said he purchased 75 percent of the company’s stake from Access Capital which had bought it two years back for an undisclosed sum. The owner said that he purchased it at a significantly higher price than he sold it to Access Capital. Gebeyaw is also owner of Getway Travel and Business Private Limited Company, which also imports Isuzu vehicles for resale on the local market.
He said he bought Debre Birhan Natural Spring Water PLC back because he wanted to make it bigger by having an expansion project on it.
Debre Birhan Natural Spring Water PLC factory lies on a 16,000 sqm area in Debre Birhan city, 133Km north of Addis Ababa where the factory also gets its natural spring for its bottled spring water business.
Gebeyaw said he chose Debre Birhan city to be the place for the mineral water plant because of the abundance of pure natural springs and cool temperature as the city lies more than 2800 meters above sea level.
He however said there are no plans to ask for additional plots of land in the area as the current plot is sufficient for the expansion project planned for the factory.
It currently manufactures mineral water bottles of varying sizes from half liter, one liter, one and half liters to two liters.
The plant was installed with 50 million birr worth of capital and currently has 160 employees which is expected to increase as the factory expands.
The water bottling industry is rapidly increasing in Ethiopia with some of the more famous bottlers of brands such Kool (Moha soft drinks industries S.Co.), Origin (Electro commercial S.Co.), Aqua Addis (Burayu spring water) and Real water (TGDM trade works PLC), and Highland and Abyssinia, among the pioneers.
The industry has also expanded from Addis Ababa and its environs to regional cities like Dessie, Dire Dawa and Mekelle.