The Coca-Cola Company and Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) have announced that they have completed the transition of AB InBev’s majority interest in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA).
CCBA, the largest Coca-Cola bottler in Africa, was formed in 2016 through the combination of African non-alcoholic ready-to-drink bottling interests of SABMiller plc, The Coca-Cola Company and Gutsche Family Investments. AB InBev later acquired SABMiller and reached an agreement to transition AB InBev’s 54.5% equity stake in CCBA to Coca-Cola.
The transition, which was first announced in December 2016, makes The Coca-Cola Company the controlling shareowner of CCBA. The closing follows the completion of a number of regulatory approvals across the territories in which CCBA operates.
The Coca-Cola Company plans to hold its controlling interest in CCBA temporarily until it is refranchised. The Coca-Cola Company will account for CCBA as a discontinued operation.
The announcement reflects agreements reached with the South African Government and the South African competition authorities on several conditions, all of which were previously announced. The Coca-Cola Company says it recognizes the value of driving CCBA’s operations from South Africa and recommitted that CCBA will remain incorporated and tax-resident in South Africa, and its head office will also remain in South Africa.
The companies continue to work toward finalizing their conditional agreement in principle for The Coca-Cola Company to acquire AB InBev’s interest in bottling operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, El Salvador and Honduras.
As previously announced, The Coca-Cola Company’s process to refranchise CCBA is open to South African and international prospective partners who have the necessary skill, capacity and commitment to drive The Coca-Cola Company’s vision for CCBA. They will be required to abide by the commitments made by The Coca-Cola Company to the government of the Republic of South Africa. Partner selection will take into consideration a number of factors, as previously announced, including a commitment to maintain South Africa as an anchor geography for the bottler in driving the development of CCBA on the continent and have a positive impact in South Africa and the rest of the continent.
The Coca-Cola Company has been engaging with both South African and international parties interested in acquiring an interest in CCBA.