MOROCCO – North Africa Bottling Company (NABC), The Coca-Cola Company bottling partner in Morocco, seeks to fully acquire another bottler of the American soft-beverage giant in the country, Atlas Bottling Company (ABC).

The acquisition of all concerned shares and related voting rights of ABC will be obtained from Diana Holding group, Atlantic Packaging SA, SNV SA, Rita Maria Zniber and Khalid Hatim, who are the current shareholders of the company.

Following purchase of the earmarked business, subject to regulatory approval, NABC will expand its presence in the North African country where it also operates three other subsidiaries i.e. the Central Soft Drinks Company (SCBG), the Soft Drinks Company of the South (CBGS) and the Moroccan and International Drinks Company (COBOMI).

Both the acquirer and ABC are active in the market for the bottling, marketing and distribution of non-alcoholic beverages.

North Africa Bottling Company (NABC) and Atlas Bottling Company (ABC) are bottling enterprises operating under Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company (ECCBC).

The recent transaction is part of The Coca-Cola Company strategy aimed at concentrating its bottlers around the world in order to have a single partner per country or region.

EECBC currently distributes Coca-Cola’s products in both West and North Africa region in 13 African countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Ghana, Guinea Conakry, Equatorial Guinea, Cape Verde, Liberia, Gambia, Mauritania, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Bissau Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe.

Recently, the company entered into an agreement with IFC that will see it bag a US$71m financing package.

The proposed investment, comprising of a senior loan of up to €53 million (US$53m) and a €17 million (US$17.25m) facility from IFC as implementing entity for the Canada IFC Blended Finance Program (BCFP), is aimed to support the company’s new investments and working capital requirements.

According to the financial institution, ECCBC will channel part of the funds to upgrade a production line at its Fruital plant in Algeria with a new CSD production line with a capacity of 45,000 bottles per hour.

The new production line will also have a 25% reduction in electricity consumption to produce replaced volume and a reduction in the utilization of raw materials.

In addition, the beverage maker seeks to set up a new packaged drinking water line at its COBOMI plant in Morocco.

This will replace an existing line with a capacity of 20,000 bph and enable a reduction in plastic utilization.

The proposed investment will also support EECBC’s sustainability initiatives as it seeks to upgrade its coolers in Ghana, Algeria and other West African Countries with the purchase of 25,000, which will be 25% more energy efficient.

Further to that, its plants in Ghana and Morocco are set to commence utilization of green energy as the company plans installation of solar panels in Morocco and establishment of both a solar plant and off-grid solar coolers in Ghana.

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