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Cervejas de Mocambique to take over Laurentina

18 April 2002

Cervejas de Mocambique( CDM ) today announced it was purchasing the controlling interest, and management control, of Laurentina from BIH.

"The Laurentina Brewery has for some time been making substantial losses and the Financial Statements for the year ending 31st December 2001 as certified by the auditors, KPMG, reflect a virtually bankrupt situation. The company could not fund working capital out of its current operations is not in a position to continue operations", said CDM Managing Director, Roger Smith.

"Brasseries International Holdings (BIH), a subsidiary of the Castel Group, a partner of ours in Africa, has decided to pull out of Mozambique as the market is not big enough to support two brewers", said Smith.

The deal, which has government approval, will avoid financial loss being sustained by all stakeholders. In terms of the agreement, CDM will settle all Laurentina's outstanding debts and honour all the company's commitments to government.

As a result of the deal, the Laurentina brand will in future be brewed at CDM's breweries. The existing Laurentina brewery site will be used as distribution depot and the brewing plant and equipment dismantled and relocated to the Mac Mahon brewery in Maputo.

In terms of the agreement, CDM will comply with all financial commitments to the State of Mozambique, included in the Laurentina privatisation agreement. All creditors will be settled and arrangements with financial institutions will be honoured.

Shareholders of the Laurentina Brewery, including employees, will be compensated for their interests in the company. All employees, including contract workers currently employed by Laurentina will receive full retrenchment packages as specified in article 68 of the State of Mozambique Labour Act.

"It is our intention that the process be concluded by the end of April 2002, where after the sale and distribution of the Brand, Laurentina will be undertaken by CDM. It is a national icon and a source of great pride to all Mozambicans. As a result of the deal we will be able to reach a wider market, including exports outside of Mozambique through our distribution chain and significantly enhance Laurentina's profile", said Smith.

CDM, the first private company to list on the Maputo Stock Exchange, is 78 % owned by South African Breweries International, with the balance of the shares being held by its employees (10 %), the public (4.5 %), SPI (5,4 %) and the government (2 %).

Further Information

Mitch Ramsay, Communications Manager SABI Africa & Asia
Tel + 27 (0) 11 407 1822
Mob + 27 (0) 83 631 0308

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