Coca Cola buys stake in African bottler

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) will acquire Anheuser-Busch InBev’s majority stake in Africa’s largest Coke bottler, the two companies said in a joint statement Wednesday.

Coke will purchase the 54.5 percent stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) for $3.15 billion. CCBA has operations in South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ghana, Mayotte and Comoros.

The deal is expected to close by the end of 2017.

Coke said it plans to hold all of these territories temporarily until they can be refranchised to other partners.

Said Coke Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, “We will move forward with our 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.”

AB InBev has now raised some $27 billion from divestments of SABMiller’s European, U.S. and Chinese interests, according to a Reuters report, recouping more than a quarter of the $97.7 billion it paid for the world’s second largest brewer.

There have been reports that the Belgian brewer, having completed its $107 billion purchase of SABMiller, might be interested in a blockbuster purchase of Coke itself.

Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle