SOUTH AFRICA – The Coca-Cola Company has announced plans of listing its largest bottler in Africa, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), as a publicly traded company.
The giant soft beverage manufacturer 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 Coca-Cola Company sees Africa as a key growth market and views a separate listing of CCBA as an opportunity to deliver a broad, supportive, long-term investor base for the ongoing development of the business.”Bruno Pietracci – President of the Africa operating unit of The Coca-Cola Company
Speaking during The Coca-Cola Company’s 2020 first quarter earnings webcast, Chief Executive James Quincey said it had always been the group’s intention to reduce its interest in CCBA in line with its strategy to operate as a global brand owner with independent bottling partners.
“CCBA is a strong and well capable bottler. We have always considered having it as a free-standing entity,” Quincey said.
“We believe in the future of the continent and we think in CCBA we have a bottler that will grow into that future,” he added.
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.
“The Coca-Cola Company sees Africa as a key growth market and views a separate listing of CCBA as an opportunity to deliver a broad, supportive, long-term investor base for the ongoing development of the business,” said Bruno Pietracci, president of the Africa operating unit of The Coca-Cola Company.
“A standalone listing for CCBA will enable the bottler to build on its growth trajectory and access capital independently to meet the investment needs of the business, which is great for stakeholders across Africa,” said Jacques Vermeulen, CEO of CCBA.
The Coca-Cola Company has retained Rothschild & Co. to advise on the IPO.
CCBA is the 8th largest Coca-Cola bottling partner in the world by revenue, and the largest on the continent.
It accounts for 40 percent of all Coca-Cola products sold in Africa by volume. With over 16,000 employees in Africa, CCBA services millions of customers with a host of international and local brands.
The group was formed in July 2016 after the successful combination of the Southern and East Africa bottling operations of the non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages businesses of The Coca-Cola Company, SABMiller plc and Gutsche Family Investments.
CCBA shareholders are currently: The Coca-Cola Company 66.5% and Gutsche Family Investments 33.5%.
Its African footprint now encompasses South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Comoros, Mayotte, Zambia, Botswana, Eswatini and Lesotho.
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