KENYA – South Africa-headquartered Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) announced on Thursday that it has concluded negotiations to acquire Equator Bottlers, the third largest Coca-Cola bottler in Kenya, for an undisclosed amount of money. 

This comes after the acquisition was approved by the Competition Authority of Kenya last week Friday. 

Equator Bottlers Limited is now owned by CCBA via wholly-owned subsidiary Coca-Cola Sabco East Africa Limited (CCSEAL), with effect from 1 July 2017.

Equator Bottlers, previously a subsidiary of Kretose Investments owned by the Shah family, has been one of several authorised Coca-Cola Bottlers which supply products in the Western regions of Kenya.

CCBA bottles and distributes trademarked beverages owned by The Coca-Cola Company. It is Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottler and the world’s 10th largest. 

CCBA’s managing director for the international division, Jacques Vermeulen said the acquisition made perfect sense both for companies and for consumers in Kenya.  

“This acquisition of Equator will allow us to share best practice and improve our service for both the formal and informal markets and at the same time, encourage greater innovation.

It will also allow us to achieve enhanced efficiencies which, in turn, will mean an improved and more seamless service for customers,” Vermeulen said.

The creation of CCBA last year was designed to provide a stronger Coca-Cola system in Africa and create greater shared value for the business and communities served across the value-chain, including local suppliers and retailers.

Daryl Wilson, Country Managing Director for Nairobi Bottlers Limited, said Kenya offered opportunities for growth and investment. 

“That said, disposable income pressure on consumers requires of us that we become both more efficient and effective in what we do to bring affordable products to Kenyan consumers,” Wilson said. 

“The purchase of Equator Bottlers will see us work together to do just that, offering more to our customers while capturing growth opportunities in one of Africa’s most dynamic economies.”

Equator Bottlers genera manager, Enrique Huerta, said the company had grown to be the third largest bottler in Kenya for nearly 51 years. 

“The acquisition by CCBA is a significant milestone and very exciting for Equator as we become part of the largest Coca-Cola bottler in Africa presenting tremendous opportunities for growth for our people, customers and consumers,” Huerta said.

July 7, 2017: African News Agency