The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) and Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) (Euronext: ABI) (NYSE: BUD) (MEXBOL: ANB) (JSE: ANH) announced today 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.
Today’s 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 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.
About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest total beverage company, offering over 500 brands to people in more than 200 countries. Of our 21 billion-dollar brands, 19 are available in lower- and no-sugar options to help people everywhere more easily control added sugar. In addition to our namesake Coca-Cola drinks, some of our household names around the world include: AdeS soy-based beverages, Ayataka green tea, Dasani waters, Del Valle juices and nectars, Fanta, Georgia coffee, Gold Peak teas and coffees, Honest Tea, Minute Maid juices, Powerade sports drinks, Simply juices, smartwater, Sprite, vitaminwater, and Zico coconut water. At Coca-Cola, we’re serious about making positive contributions to our world. That starts with reducing sugar in our drinks and bringing new and different drinks to people everywhere. It also means continuously working to reduce our environmental impact, creating rewarding careers for our associates, and bringing economic opportunity wherever we operate. In fact, together with our bottling partners, we employ more than 700,000 people around the world. For more information, visit our digital magazine Coca-Cola Journey at www.coca-colacompany.com and follow The Coca-Cola Company on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
This press release does not constitute or form a part of any offer or an invitation or solicitation or advertisement to purchase and/or subscribe for securities in South Africa, including an offer to the public for the sale of, or subscription for, or an invitation or the solicitation of an offer to buy and/or subscribe for, securities as defined in the South African Companies Act, 71 of 2008 (as amended).