MMI and Edouard Garabedian link up

MMI, the leading alcoholic beverage distributor across the Gulf and Indian Ocean and Edouard Garabedian, the major independent alcoholic beverage distributor in Ethiopia, have announced a strategic partnership.

MMI (Maritime Mercantile International) says the Ethiopian market is growing driven by an improving and diversifying economy and a developing infrastructure. The imported wines and spirits sector is growing, aided by development of high-end hotels, premium on-trade and a large population with emerging middle class. 

The new partnership is said to provide a platform to capitalise on and further develop Ethiopia’s growth, by marrying Edouard Garabedian’s local knowledge, reputation and in-market capability with MMI’s track record in accelerating growth, premium brand, retail, category development and logistics infrastructure.

MMI COO Iain Delaney (pictured) said: “Ethiopia, and the wider region, is reaching an exciting point in the development of the imported alcoholic beverage category and the future growth outlook is strong. The combination of the Garabedian team’s local knowledge and portfolio and MMI’s international experience and infrastructure provide a platform to deliver growth in an already fast developing market”.

Garabedian director David Garabedian said; “We have 60 years’ experience in this market and continue to plan for the long term. Utilising MMI’s knowledge and regional infrastructure there is no doubt we will realise faster growth and further consolidate our leadership position in the market.”

Edouard Garabedian will continue to operate as a privately owned Ethiopian company; however, as a strategic partner, MMI will support its growth in a consultancy role. The local management does not change. Hratch Djerrahian will continue to operate as general manager. MMI will lend immediate support in supply chain via its facilities in Jebel Ali, assisting Garabedian in improving lead times.

Headquartered in Dubai, Maritime and Mercantile International is a subsidiary of the Emirates Group. MMI and its associates holds the number one alcohol distributor position in the UAE and Oman, and are said to possess travel retail experience through supplying leading duty free retailers in the region and as the operator of Duty Free Dubai Ports. In addition, MMI has initiated overseas joint ventures with local partners in Zanzibar, Tanzania, the Maldives, and Thailand. MMI has business in 42 countries across four geographical regions, east Africa, Gulf & Middle East, Indian Ocean and south east Asia.