November 8, 2012 / 1:07 PM / 5 years ago

Kenya's Keroche Breweries targets 20 pct market share

* Eyes listing of shares in five years

* Investing $29 mln to increase capacity

* Move to add competition pressure on EABL

NAIROBI, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Keroche Breweries plans to raise its share of the beer market in Kenya to 20 percent in two years and is increasing capacity to meet that target, its chief executive said on Thursday.

Tabitha Karanja told Reuters the brewer of Summit and Summit Malt beers was constructing a one million a year hectolitre brew house in order to introduce two new beer brands and meet demand for the existing two.

Keroche entered brewing in 2008 and now has a market share of 3 percent.

“With the new investment we will push it to 20 percent,” Karanja said, adding the new brew house will be ready by the end of next year.

It will cost 2.5 billion shillings ($29.27 million), 80 percent of which will be funded by a loan from Barclays Plc.

The plan by Keroche, which wants to list its shares on the Nairobi bourse through a public offering in five years, will put further competition pressure on East African Breweries (EABL) .

With brands like Tusker beer and Johnnie Walker whisky, the Diageo - controlled EABL has a commanding lead in the market, but it has seen competition ratchet in recent years from small local brewers and imports like Heineken beer.

EABL has been moving into neighbouring markets like Tanzania in recent years to shore up its earnings growth.

Karanja said Keroche launched two spirits in Kenya this year to tap the growing segment.

$1 = 85.4000 Kenyan shillings Reporting by Duncan Miriri; editing by George Obulutsa and James Jukwey

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