Dream big & live it
The chronicle of the Relecom family reads like a novel, an exciting saga that takes place across three continents, Europe, Africa and America, spanning seven generations to date. It all started with Edouard Caulier, who founded his own brewery in Neufvilles, Belgium, in 1829.
Over a long and successful history, the brewing business continued to grow and one generation followed another. Like many other companies, it was heavily affected by the two world wars, but managed to stand its ground with dogged determination.
The African continent
Unibra sought further opportunities in Africa, starting in Congo in 1948, and expanding its operations to Guinea, Madagascar, Rwanda and Ethiopia.
As one of the founders in 1963 of the now internationally recognised brand, Unibra holds the rights for and brews SKOL in Africa. Its continued presence on the African continent is not only prompted by commercial considerations, but also by strong emotional bonds that have been forged. Unibra works actively to promote growth, job creation, training and sponsorship programs there.
A new wind blows
The 2008 financial and banking crisis forced Unibra to revive its entrepreneurial spirit and make some major shifts in business strategy. It delisted from Euronext and the current CEO, Thibault Relecom, appeared on the scene.
Thibault had benefited from an international education, specialising in international business management. He was and is determined to create a sustainable and profitable real estate activity alongside the brewing business. New young professionals were attracted with a strong ambition to develop the two business units in parallel.
SKOL is available for beer lovers in a number of African markets, through Unibra’s own breweries, licensed partner breweries and third-party distributors. The flagship entity, SKOL Brewery Limited, (SBL), located in Kigali, Rwanda, started in 2010 and has since achieved a more than 25% share of the beer market. Unibra is constantly exploring new opportunities to expand the availability of Skol Beers further across Africa.
Unibra Real Estate is focused on high-end residential projects and investment in office and retail assets in Brussels and the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. The asset portfolio has continuously increased to 35,000 sqm plus 50,000 sqm in development. Always with a strong focus on sustainability.
In line with family tradition, the team consists of talented and passionate people upholding the company values of Diversity, Responsibility, Passion, Integrity and Sustainability.
As brewers and builders, it has been an exciting journey so far, one that we will pursue with zeal, professionalism and enthusiasm into the future.