Nairobi tycoon Humphrey Kariuki denied whisky import monopoly

The competition watchdog has scuttled tycoon Humphrey Kariuki’s bid to exclusively import and distribute 214 premium wine and spirit brands including Bacardi-Martini labels.
Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) said the move would have seen the billionaire’s company, WOW Beverages, amass a lot of market power and lock out rivals at the expense of customers.
The decision has halted a series of planned exclusive distribution agreements between WOW Beverages and various alcohol manufacturers, with the local firm now exposed to competition from other importers.
“The CAK has rejected an exemption application by WOW Beverages in which the firm was seeking to enter into exclusive distributorship agreements with seven international suppliers,” the regulator said in a statement.The Authority is of the opinion that parallel imports, through legal channels, are likely to bring more benefits to Kenyan consumers, including the enhancement of intra-brand competition which often leads to lower prices.”
READ: Nairobi tycoon to import Bacardi in exclusive deal
WOW Beverages told the regulator that its exclusive deals were necessary to protect its investments besides guaranteeing the products’ quality in the local market.
The CAK, however, ruled that the company did not prove the claims.
Had the application been granted, WOW Beverages would have emerged with the largest product variety, beating its rivals including East African Breweries (EABL) #ticker:EABL, which has tens of brands.
The company had initiated the distribution deals with Gallo Vineyards Inc (which trades as E&J Gallow Winery Europe), Vina San Pedro Tarapasca SA, Felix Solis Avantis SA, Afrique Interlink (PTY), Interlink (PTY) Limited, Edrington Group Limited and Tradall SA (Bacardi-Martini Group).
The multinationals were to appoint WOW to import, purchase, promote, exclusively distribute and sell their selected portfolio of products in the Kenyan market exclusively.

I’m not a fan of Humphrey Kariuki from the things I’ve read about him. With that said if the CAK is really serious about executing it’s mandate everywhere without bias or favour it would do something about Safaricom . But they won’t.

Nilimwambia hapa hapa, he doesn’t have to sell drugs. Consider with the license he can go to China and distribute fake martini liquor

He can still distribute the fake liquor… And still ship drugs using proxy companies…

If it quacks like a duck…

U don’t have to risk with drugs. Pombe iko na pesa mbaya

what has safaricom done? is it wrong to invest in better customer care and great service or are Kenyans used to mediocrity.

What is with the Safaricom bashing!?

William lawsons included?? Wow beverage is dead

Hii wow beverage ina sound kama ile company ya ule socialite wa NYS scam…

Please enlighten us as to how exactly Safaricom displays uncompetitive practices in the telco sector.

In my book, they just have a more deft acumen in business. You can’t punish a company for being innovative.


Best network coverage, best innovation (Per-second billing, MPESA, MSHWARI, Sambaza, Tap, Bonga Points, Please call me,Skiza Tunes, Internet 3G…)

All these came to Safaricom first before anywhere else!! They are willing to take the plunge and risk it. Rewards must be commensurate. Plus there are options, kama Safaricom haibambi, just move along, acha ku-complain ati monopoly!!!

Because G.O.K owns a big slice of the company. G.O.K owns 35% of this company while Vodafone owns about 40%. G.O. K has no skin in WOW so it doesn’t care about it anyway.

And it’s not like wengine wamekatazwa, they offer shitty services, wanatokwa na customers

Also owns dalbit petroleum I think.

U are right…he knows part of The hub too