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Coca-Cola to retain majority stake in Africa subsidiary

The Coca-Cola Company has announced it will maintain its majority stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) for the foreseeable future.

With the change, Coca-Cola will begin presenting the financial statements of CCBA within its results from continuing operations in the second quarter of 2019 in accordance with U.S. accounting standards, the firm has confirmed.

CCBA has been accounted for as a discontinued operation since Coca-Cola became the controlling shareowner in October 2017.

Coca-Cola previously announced its intention to refranchise CCBA, which is the largest bottler of Coca-Cola beverages in Africa, serving 12 countries. The company has had discussions with a number of potential partners.

“Coca-Cola Beverages Africa is a very important part of the Coca-Cola system, and we see great opportunities to create even more value,” said Coca-Cola President and Chief Operating Officer Brian Smith.

“While we remain committed to the refranchising process, we believe it’s in the best interests of all involved for Coca-Cola to continue to hold and operate CCBA,” Smith added.

In reclassifying CCBA’s results into continuing operations, Coca-Cola expects the company will provide reclassified prior year financial information prior to the second quarter earnings release.

It is also expected depreciation and amortization for CCBA will be reinstated, per accounting guidelines. Coca-Cola estimates depreciation and amortization expense for 2018 of approximately USD400 million on a comparable basis.

With the reclassification, Coca-Cola does not expect an impact to its 2019 organic revenue and comparable EPS (Earnings per share) growth guidance.

EPS is the portion of a company’s profit allocated to each share of common stock. It serves as an indicator of a company’s profitability.

The company expects an increase in its 2019 guidance for cash from operations of approximately USD400 million and an increase in capital expenditures of approximately USD400 million.

According to the multi-national, CCBA’s results will be reported as part of the Bottling Investments Group segment.

CCBA was formed in 2016 through the combination of the 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 per cent equity stake in CCBA to Coca-Cola. That 2017 transaction made Coca-Cola the controlling shareowner of CCBA.

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is a total beverage company, offering over 500 brands in more than 200 countries and territories. In addition to the company’s Coca-Cola brands, its portfolio includes some of the world’s renowned beverage brands, such as AdeS plant-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Costa coffee, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta and Georgia coffee.

Others are Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, innocent smoothies and juices, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smartwater, Sprite, vitamin water and ZICO coconut water.

“We’re constantly transforming our portfolio, from reducing sugar in our drinks to bringing innovative new products to market. We’re also working to reduce our environmental impact by replenishing water and promoting recycling,” the New York Stock Exchange listed firm said on Monday.

With its bottling partners, Coca-Cola employs more than 700,000 people, helping bring economic opportunity to local communities worldwide.

Source: The Exchange

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