JOHANNESBURG, November 27- The Coca-Cola Company Thursday announced a partnership to form its largest soft drinks bottling company in Africa, serving “high growth” countries on the continent.
The Coca-Cola company together with British drinks giant SABMiller and Gutsche Family Investment, a South Africa private firm, will join forces to form Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.
“The new bottler, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, will serve 12 high-growth countries accounting for approximately 40 percent of all Coca-Cola beverage volumes in Africa,” said a statement.
It will be majority owned by SABMiller with a 57 percent stake, Gutsche Family Investments with 31.7 percent and The Coca-Cola Company with 11.3 percent.
According to the companies, bottling operations in 12 high growth markets in southern and east Africa had an annual revenue of $2.9 billion.
The deal is underpinned by “rising personal disposable income” and increased consumption per capita.
As part of the deal, Coca-Cola will acquire SABMiller’s Appletiser soft drinks and 19 other non-alcoholic brands in Africa and Latin America for nearly $260 million.
“Soft drinks are an important element of our growth strategy. This transaction increases our exposure to the total beverage market in Africa,” said Alan Clark, SABMiller chief executive.
The new bottling company to be headquarted in South Africa will initially produce and distribute Coca-Cola beverages in nine countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Namibia, Comoros and Mayotte.
South Africa is Coca-Cola beverages’ largest market on the continent.