LESOTHO – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) has now expanded its operations into Lesotho with the acquisition of Maluti Mountain Breweries’ interest in the soft drinks business and renamed it Coca-Cola Beverages Lesotho (CCBL).

The deal was signed on 6 October 2020, and all the necessary regulatory approvals were obtained with reports by Bizcommunity indicating that the entity will commence distributing Coca-Cola products from May 2021.

The non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink business in Lesotho will now operate as a subsidiary of CCBA, with management control.

CCBA joins the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) and the Ministry of Finance as a key shareholder in the venture.

“We are committed to growing the soft drinks industry and the business in Lesotho and will endeavour to launch new products into the Lesotho market to meet consumer needs. We are also excited to partner with LNDC,” Tsepo Maketela, country manager of CCBL.

According to Maketela, access to shared best practices will enhance efficiencies and a better distribution capability will provide pervasive availability of cold beverages to end-customers.

“We will also be able to respond to consumer demand more quickly,” he added.

CCBA is the eighth largest Coca-Cola bottling partner in the world by revenue, and the largest on the continent. It accounts for 40% of all Coca-Cola products sold in Africa by volume.

The company’s African footprint encompasses South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Comoros, Mayotte, Zambia, Botswana, Eswatini and now Lesotho.

“We are committed to growing the soft drinks industry and the business in Lesotho and will endeavor to launch new products into the Lesotho market to meet consumer needs.”

Tsepo Maketela – Country manager of CCBL

“Expanding our African footprint brings huge benefits to local consumers and businesses. By leveraging scale, we can do more for our customers and drive our sustainability goals. The creation of CCBL is another milestone in that strategy,” Maketela concludes.

Meanwhile, the soft beverage manufacturer’s parent organization The Coca-Cola Company is planning to list CCBA to be a publicly traded entity.

The giant drink maker intends to sell a portion of its shareholding in CCBA, via an initial public offering that will see shares traded on the JSE and Amsterdam.

The decision is in line with The Coca-Cola Company’s objective of focusing its resources on building consumer-loved brands and innovation.

It also underscores the company’s continued and long-term belief and commitment to the African continent and the leadership of CCBA from South Africa.

The IPO will allow CCBA to operate as an independent, Africa-focused, South African-headquartered, managed and domiciled business.

The companies intend for the IPO to be within the next 18 months. The exact timing will be driven by a number of factors, including macroeconomic conditions.

Shares will be listed in Amsterdam and Johannesburg, with Amsterdam being the primary exchange.

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