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Coca-Cola to buy AB InBev's stake in African bottling venture for $3.15bn

DBR Staff Writer Published 22 December 2016

Coca-Cola has agreed to acquire Anheuser-Busch InBev's majority stake in their African bottling venture for $3.15bn and hold onto it until it finds a new owner.

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) has operations in South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique, Ghana, Comoros, Mayotte and Ethiopia.

Coca-Cola said in October this year that it would exercise a right to acquire the stake formerly owned by SABMiller after SAB's £79bn takeover by AB InBev.

In an other deal, Coca-Cola has reached an agreement in principle to buy AB InBev’s stake in bottling operations in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, El Salvador and Honduras. Coca-Cola did not disclose the terms of that deal.

The deals, which are subject to the regulatory approvals, are expected to close by the end of 2017.

Coca-Cola plans to hold the businesses temporarily and said it is negotiating with potential new owners. 

Coca-Cola chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent said: “We are pleased to have reached an agreement quickly that is in everyone’s best interests.

“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.”

Coca-Cola revealed that it is planning to account for the acquired interests as a discontinued operation for reporting purposes.

Elsewhere in China, in mid November, Coca-Cola had agreed to realign its bottling system in mainland China. The realignment includes COFCO Coca-Cola Beverages and Swire acquiring the Coca-Cola bottling assets.

Image: Coca-Cola to buy AB InBev’s stake in CCBA for $3.15bn. Photo: courtesy of The Coca-Cola Company.