SABMiller, Coca-Cola To Merge African Non-Alcoholic Bottling Operations

SABMiller PLC Thursday said it has agreed with The Coca-Cola Co and the majority shareholder in bottler Coca-Cola Sabco to combine the bottling operations of their non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages businesses in Southern and East Africa, creating a company that accounts for about 40% of all Coca-Cola beverage volumes in Africa.

In a statement, the company said the new bottling company, called Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, will have operations in 12 markets across southern and east Africa, have pro-forma annual revenue of USD2.9 billion, and bottle 729 million unit cases a year. It will be the largest bottler in Africa and the 10th largest in the world.

SABMiller will own 57.0% of the new company, while Gutsche Family Investments, the main shareholder in Coca-Cola Sabco will hold 31.7%, and The Coca-Cola Co will hold 11.3%.

“Soft drinks are an important element of our growth strategy. This transaction increases our exposure to the total beverage market in Africa.

The opportunity is significant, with favourable demographics and economic development pointing to excellent growth prospects,” said Alan Clark, SABMiller chief executive. “This also signifies a strengthening of our strategic relationship with The Coca-Cola Company.”

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