Kensington Distillers and Vintners has acquired the 1960 Rootz brand to form Monument Distillers Nigeria Limited which will also represent a range of international brands in Nigeria.
Owners of the international brands Bannerman’s Finest Scotch Whiskey, Grace du Roi Fine Wine and Mazzatti Italian Beer, Kensington Distillers & Vintners (KDV), have made a significant investment into Nigeria with the recent acquisition of the 1960 Rootz brand.
Having purchased both the brand and the state-of-the-art manufacturing plant used to produce 1960 Rootz from AB InBev, KDV are forming a new business called Monument Distillers, creating jobs in the process. The production facility will shortly be moved from AB InBev’s Port Harcourt production facility to Lagos where KDV’s offices are based.
Monument Distillers Managing Director, Ajay Malhotra, assures Nigerians that the 1960 Rootz brand will remain unchanged. He said, “AB In Bev built an extremely successful brand in 1960 Rootz, and we believe it has the potential to lead this uniquely Nigerian flavoured spirits category which grew by 21% from 2016 to 2017. We won’t be changing anything – the brand’s much- loved taste will remain the same.”
He went on to explain that KDV have plans to build on the success of this proudly Nigerian brand: “We are delighted to be given the opportunity to continue to grow 1960 Rootz and for us to use our newly-formed Monument Distillers business to accelerate the growth of our international brands.”
In addition to manufacturing and owning the 1960 Rootz brand and representing international KDV brands – Bannerman’s Finest Scotch Whiskey and Grace du Roi Fine Wines – Monument Distillers will be launching a number of exciting new international brands in Nigeria soon under the guidance of respected board members.
The company’s board includes liquor industry veteran, Mark Bowman, who led SABMiller Africa – across 18 African markets directly and a further 21 in partnership with the Castel Group, Rowan Leibbrandt, who began his liquor industry career working across multiple European markets in a variety of commercial and marketing roles for William Grant & Sons and liquor giants, Pernod-Ricard, before launching KDV and rapidly-growing the South African liquor distributor, Truman & Orange. Michael Ajukwu, another Monumental Distiller Board member, also sits on the boards of International Breweries Plc (part of AB InBev) Sterling Bank Plc, Novotel PH and Tiger Brands SA. The fourth board members are Olayemi Cardoso who also serves as Chairman of Citibank Nigeria and Chairman of African Venture Philanthropy Alliance (AVPA).