Distell Group Limited

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Distell Group Limited
TypePublic limited company
IndustryBrewing, Beverage
PredecessorStellenbosch Farmers' Winery
Distillers Corporation
Founded4 December 2000; 22 years ago (2000-12-04) through Merger
FounderWilliam Charles Winshaw
SFW's Founder
Anton Rupert
Distillers Corp's Founder
DefunctApril 26, 2023; 7 months ago (2023-04-26)
HeadquartersStellenbosch, South Africa
Key people
Richard Rushton - CEO
RevenueZAR 17.7 Billion (2014)[1] The shareholding as at 31 March 2014 is shown below:[2]
ZAR 1.5 Billion
Total assetsZAR 15.9 Billion (2014)
Number of employees
5,300 (2014)

Distell Group Limited, commonly referred to as Distell, was a multinational brewing and beverage company, based in South Africa. On April 26, 2023, Distel was acquired by Heineken.[3]

After that, its operations were integrated into Heineken Beverages, a company created by the merger of its South African unit, Distel, and another African brewery acquired by the Dutch multinational Namibia Breweries.[4]


Distell Group Limited is a producer and marketer of spirits, fine wines, ciders and ready-to-drinks. The group's headquarters are in Stellenbosch, South Africa.[5]

As at February 2014, Distell had 5,300 employees worldwide and an annual turnover of ZAR 17.7 Billion.


Distell Group Limited traces its roots to two major alcoholic beverage companies in South Africa, Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery (SFW) and Distillers Corporation, that merged on 4 December 2000.[6]


Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery[edit]

Stellenbosch Farmers Winery Group (SFW) the founder member of Distell Group was formed in 1925 by William Charles Winshaw, an American medical doctor.[7] As at the year 2000, SFW produced and distributed wine and spirits as well as non-alcoholic beverages through retail outlets South Africa and across the world.[8]

In 1956 Stellenbosch Farmers Winery Ltd was listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.[9]

Distillers Corporation[edit]

Distillers Corporation was formed in 1945 by Anton Rupert. Distillers expanded energetically and very quickly set up marketing relationships and partnerships in the wine and spirits industry. The company became a major producer, focusing on distillates and in particular on the brandy market that it developed from relative obscurity to its current level of prominence. It is renowned for its Bergkelder concept, a marketing innovation that invited wine estates to make use of Distillers' bottling, sales and marketing expertise. In addition, it created a new African icon, Amarula Cream, which is one of the top-selling cream liqueurs in the world.[7]

Distillers Corporation was also listed on the JSE.

Merger transaction[edit]

On 20 September 2000, Distillers' Corporation and Stellenbosch Farmers Winery directors announced the merger of the two firms. The merger was made possible because both firms had a similar shareholding structure i.e.[10]

  • Remgro-KWV Investments – 60% of Distillers' Corporation and a similar stake in SFW.
  • Other Beverages Industries (Pty) Ltd – 30% of Distillers' Corporation and a similar stake in SFW. Other Beverage Interests Proprietary Limited is a wholly owned subsidiary of SABMiller.
  • Public via The JSE – 10%

This structure allowed the merger not to have any diluting effect on the lead shareholders' effective interest in the merged entity.[11]

On 4 December 2000, the management announced the conclusion of the merger. The newly formed entity was known as Distell from the names of the two constituent companies.[6][12]

Distell Group's shares began trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange on 19 March 2001 under the symbol DST.[6]

Post merger[edit]

In April 2013 Distell bought Scotch whisky company Burn Stewart Distillers from CL Financial for £160m.[13]

Following its acquisition of SABMiller,[14] Anheuser-Busch InBev announced that it would sell its 26.4% acquired state in Distell Group to Public Investment Corporation.[15]

Announced acquisition[edit]

On 15 November 2021, Heineken announced a plan to buy Distell Group, in order to become the market-leading alcoholic beverage supplier in South Africa. The takeovers would be the first major deal for Heineken’s CEO and chairman of the executive board Dolf van den Brink, who took charge at Heineken in June 2020.[16] The acquisition was completed in 2023[17]


The stock of Distell Group Limited is listed on the JSE, where it trades under the symbol: DST. As of June 2015 shareholding in the group's stock is as depicted in the table below:[18]

Distell Group Limited Stock Ownership
Rank Name of Owner Percentage Ownership
1 Remgro-Capevin Investments Proprietary Limited 53.00
2 Other Beverage Interests Proprietary Limited 26.50
3 Others via the JSE 20.50
Total 100.00

  • Remgro-Capevin Investments Proprietary Limited is a joint venture between Remgro Limited and Capevin Holdings. Each company has a 50% stake in the joint venture.[19]
  • Capevin Holdings is a JSE listed firm whose sole investment as at 30 June 2014 was an effective interest of 26.5% in the issued share capital of Distell Group Limited, held via its 50% interest in Remgro-Capevin Investments Proprietary Limited.
  • Remgro Limited holds 15.6% shareholding in Capevin Holdings. That gives Remgro Limited 30.65% indirect control in Distell Group Limited.


Distell's major brands include:[20]

Spirit portfolio[edit]

  • Klipdrift Export
  • Richelieu
  • Viceroy
  • Mellow-Wood
  • Oude Meester VSOB
  • Commando
  • Richelieu XO
  • Underberg
  • Gordon's Gin (exclusive rights for South Africa)
  • Amarula
  • Nachtmusik
  • Oude Meester Peppermint & Ginger Liqueurs
  • Flight of the Fish Eagle
  • Klipdrift Premium
  • Van Ryn’s 10, 12, 15 and 20 year old collection
  • Oude Meester Reserve
  • Klipdrift Gold
  • Nederburg Potstill Solera Brandy
  • Collison's White Gold
  • Richelieu 10
  • Bain's Cape Mountain Whisky
  • Black Bottle blended Scotch whisky
  • Bunnahabhain Islay single malt Scotch whisky
  • Deanston single malt Scotch whisky
  • Harrier
  • Knights
  • Ledaig single malt Scotch whisky
  • Scottish Leader
  • Three Ships
  • Tobermory single malt Scotch whisky
  • Mainstay
  • Seven Seas
  • Amarula Gold

Wine portfolio[edit]

  • Nederburg
  • 4th Street
  • 5th Avenue
  • Cellar Cask
  • Chateau Libertas
  • Drostdy-Hof
  • Graça
  • Grand Mousseux
  • Grunberger
  • JC Le Roux
  • Obikwa
  • Peche Royale
  • Two Oceans
  • Alaska
  • Brandyale
  • Castle Brand
  • Clubman
  • Copperband
  • Delgado Supremo
  • Mokador
  • Vincoco
  • Zorba
  • Autumn Harvest Crackling
  • Capenheimer
  • Kellerprinz
  • Oom Tas
  • Overmeer
  • Paarle Perle
  • Ship Sherry
  • Sedgwicks Old Brown
  • Tassenberg
  • Taverna Rouge
  • Witzenberg Stein
  • Allesverloren
  • Durbanville Hills
  • Flat Roof Manor
  • Fleur du Cap
  • Hill & Dale
  • Jacobsdal
  • Lomond
  • Monis
  • Neethlingshof
  • Place in the Sun
  • Plaisir de Merle
  • Pongracz
  • RED ESCape
  • Theuniskraal
  • Tukulu
  • Uitkyk
  • Zonnebloem

Cider and ready to drink[edit]

  • Ciders
  • Hunters Dry
  • Hunter Gold
  • Savanna Dry
  • Savanna Light
  • Savanna Loco
  • Bernini
  • Esprit
  • Hunters Extreme
  • Klipdrift & Cola
  • Hunters Edge
  • 4th Street

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Brownlee, Julie (30 April 2014). "About the company: Distell Group Ltd [JSE:DST]". FSP Invest. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  2. ^ "Distell Group 2014 Annual Report" (PDF). Distell Group Limited. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  3. ^ "HEINEKEN successfully completes acquisition of Distell and Namibia Breweries to create HEINEKEN Beverages". Heineken N.V. Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  4. ^ "Our Profile". Heineken Beverages. Retrieved 24 July 2023.
  5. ^ "Distell Contacts". Distell Group Limited. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  6. ^ a b c Cassie du Plessis, Henry Hopkins (1 May 2011). "JSE listing for Distell". WineLand. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2014.
  7. ^ a b "Distell History". Distell Group Limited. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Stellenbosch Farmers Winery Group Ltd". Bloomberg LLP. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  9. ^ "Modern day History Timeline of Stellenbosch". ShowMe™. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  10. ^ "Case No: 08/LM/Feb02 - Merger between Distillers Corporation (SA) Limited and Stellenbosch Farmers Winery Group Ltd" (PDF). Competition Tribunal, Republic of South Africa. 13 March 2003. Retrieved 3 November 2011.
  11. ^ "Remgro Group 2001 Annual Report" (PDF). Remgro Group. 31 March 2001. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  12. ^ Kirkby, Arnold (5 December 2000). "SOUTH AFRICA: Distillers' Corporation + Stellenbosch Farmers Winery = Distell". just-drinks.com. Aroq Limited. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  13. ^ BBC News
  14. ^ Mickle, Tripp (28 September 2016). "SABMiller, AB InBev Shareholders Approve $100 Billion-Plus Merger". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  15. ^ Bonorchis, Renee; Loni, Prinsloo (15 December 2016). "AB InBev to Sell Stake in Distell to South African Fund PIC". Bloomberg Businessweek. Bloomberg L.P. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  16. ^ Philip Blenkinsop and Promit Mukherjee, Heineken to buy South Africa's Distell and Namibian Breweries at: Reuters
  17. ^ "Heineken completes Distell and Namibia Breweries acquisition". 27 April 2023.
  18. ^ "Distell Group 2015 Annual Report" (PDF). Distell Group Limited. 30 June 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  19. ^ "Capevin Holdings Limited 2014 Annual Report" (PDF). Capevin Holdings Limited. 30 June 2014. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Distell Group Brands". Distell Group Limited. Retrieved 2 November 2014.

External links[edit]