Peter Burugu: The Tycoon Behind Company Distributing EABL Products In Most Parts Of Nairobi

Bia Tosha is one of the largest beer distributors in Kenya distributing East African Breweries Ltd (EABL) products.

As of 2015, the company was distributing up to 2.4 million cases of beer and 20,000 cases of assorted spirits every year.

In this article, WoK looks at the company’s profile, ownership and the court case pitting EABL’s and its subsidiary, Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL).


Bia Tosha was founded by Peter Burugu, an astute businessman who has also invested in other industries.

The 75-year-old worked for Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) until April 1995 when he quit after a 27-year stint.

Burugu joined KBL as an accounts trainee in charge of the company’s distribution and logistics department.

He took the early retirement way and with the hefty payoff from the company, he founded his distribution firm.

Over two decades later, his company handled 12 out of every 100 cases of beer from EABL plant in Ruaraka, Nairobi County.

He owned a fleet of over 30 trucks and employed over 100 people who supplied EABL products to pubs and restaurants in areas within Nairobi.

As of 2020, Bia Tosha controlled 22 beer distribution routes in Nairobi.

Burugu’s daughter, 49-year-old Anne-Marie Burugu is now the managing director of Bia Tosha.

“I have a daughter and three sons but it’s my daughter who showed keen interest in running the family business. Today she is charge of Bia Tosha while the boys help me run my real estate firm,” Burugu said in a past interview.

Bia Tosha vs EABL

Bia Tosha and EABL entered into a partnership in 1997 when the latter was distributing EABL products in Kiambu.

Three years later, Bia Tosha expanded to new areas such as Baba Dogo, Kariobangi North and Dandora Phase 1 and 2.

By 2016, the company’s territory had grown and included other areas including Kitengela, Namanga, Langata, Rongai, Ngong Road and Dagoretti.

This expansion made the company one of the largest distributors, however, not ling before EABL came with demands.

EABL demanded that Bia Tosha gives up the routes it had been servicing in Eastlands, Nairobi, further igniting a dispute after assigning other distributors in the area.

In 2011, Bia Tosha had demanded a refund of the goodwill it had paid to EABL for the distributorship in Baba Dogo, Kariobangi North, Dandora Phase 1 and 2.

It was after this when Bia Tosha filed its suit that was determined by the High Court in 2016.

In July 2020, the Court of Appeal ruled in the favour of EABL over control of the routes in question.

The court argued that the move would occasion financial loss to other distributors and inconvenience EABL customers.

However, Bia Tosha appealed the judgement at the Supreme Court.

On February 17, 2023, the Supreme Court of overturned a decision of the Court of Appeal to lift High Court temporary orders that had granted Bia Tosha exclusive right to supply beer in the areas in question.

The Supreme Court five-judge bench led by Deputy Chief Justice Philomena Mwilu also reversed the Court of Appeal’s decision to refer the dispute to arbitration per the respective parties’ distributorship agreements.

As such, the Supreme Court reinstated the temporary orders issued by the High Court preserving the Bia Tosha’s distribution territory exclusively to it.