KENYA – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Limited (CCBA), through its wholly owned subsidiary Coca-Cola Sabco East Africa Limited (CCSEA), has completed the acquisition of stakes in two Kenyan Coca-Cola franchise bottlers for Sh19.4 billion (US$194m).

CCSEA acquired 53.9% shareholding in Almasi Beverages Limited (ABL) and 27.6% shareholding in Nairobi Bottlers Limited (NBL) from a public East African investment company Centum Investment.

Centum’s total value in the two firms stood at Sh16.8 billion (US$168m) as of March 31, 2019. Coca-Cola Sabco East Africa paid Centum Sh19.4 billion, meaning the investment firm made Sh2.6 billion (US$26m) return on investment.

Coca-Cola Sabco East Africa, which previously owned 72.4 per cent of the issued shares in Nairobi Bottlers, will become the sole shareholder of Nairobi Bottlers.

In a statement, Centum says its original investment in Rift Valley Bottlers and Mt. Kenya Bottlers in the 1970s, the later investment in Kisii Bottlers and subsequent consolidation of these three bottlers, formed a key part of Centum’s investment strategy to realise value.

Adding that the consolidation into Almasi Bottlers Limited has since enabled the company to leverage on shared managerial capacity, territory penetration, rationalization and realization of strategic objectives.

Commenting on the transaction, Centum Group CEO, Dr. James Mworia said: “The sale of ABL and NBL marks another important milestone for Centum.

“We are pleased to have played a role in providing strategic guidance to its well experienced management on revenue enhancement, efficiency improvement and organisational effectiveness.

“Following our exit to CCBA, which is one of the largest bottlers in the world, we believe they are uniquely placed to create the next phase of value within the businesses.

“Centum remains committed to its vision of being Africa’s foremost investment channel and will seek to redeploy the funds to cash generative business in line with our investment strategy.”

As at 31st March 2019, Centum’s total assets exceeded Sh66 billion (US$660m). It held its investments in ABL and NBL at a total value of KES 16.8 billion (US$168m).

The sale by Centum of its shareholding in ABL and NBL was for a total consideration of KES 19.4 billion (US$194m) compared to a historical total cost of KES 3.6 billion (US$36m).

Coca-Cola Sabco East Africa is a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Limited, which is the largest bottler in Africa, holding several bottling operations across 12 African countries.

Founded in 1967 as Industrial and Commercial Development Corporation Investments (ICDCI), Centum Investment Company Plc is a private equity firm with investments in agriculture, real estate, education, healthcare, energy, beverages and financial services.