By Hilary Mare
BEVERAGES giant Coca-Cola Company and triple-listed brewery Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) have reached an agreement regarding the transition of AB InBev’s 54.5 percent equity stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) for N$43.4 billion.
Apart from Namibia, CCBA also includes South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ghana, Mayotte and the Comoros.
In addition, the companies have reached an agreement in principle for Coca-Cola Company to acquire AB InBev’s interest in bottling operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, El Salvador and Honduras for an undisclosed amount.
The transactions are subject to the relevant regulatory and minority approvals and are expected to close by the end of 2017.
The Coca-Cola Company plans to hold these territories temporarily until they can be refranchised to other partners.
AB InBev CEO Carlos Brito noted the company was pleased to have reached the agreement in a timely manner.
Coca-Cola Company CEO Muhtar Kent added that the company would now move forward with its long-term strategic plan in these important growth markets. “We are continuing negotiations with a number of parties who are highly qualified and interested in these bottling territories and look forward to refranchising these territories as soon as practical following regulatory approval,” he said.
Coca-Cola was founded in Namibia in 1953. Coca-Cola Sabco ventured into Namibia in 1995, after the acquisition of Paradise Beverages from The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC). The result was Namibia Beverages – a partnership between Paradise Beverages and Amcom (today called Namibia Development Corporation). During 2012, Namibia Beverages became a private Company called Coca-Cola Namibia Bottling Company (CCNBC) with the same partners having share in the new founded Company. CCNBC today has bottling plants in Windhoek and in Oshakati.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with secondary listings on the Mexico (MEXBOL: ANB) and South Africa (JSE: ANH) stock exchanges and with American Depositary Receipts on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD).
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, with more than 500 sparkling and still brands and more than 3 800 beverage choices. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable and recognisable brands, the company’s portfolio features US$20 billion brands, 18 of which are available in reduced, low- or no-calorie options.
The billion-dollar brands include Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Dasani, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply, Del Valle, Georgia and Gold Peak. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, they are the No.1 provider of both sparkling and still beverages. More than 1.9 billion servings of its beverages are enjoyed by consumers in more than 200 countries each day.
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