ZAMBIA – PepsiCo’s bottler Varun Beverages today said it has hiked stake in its subsidiary, Varun Beverages (Zambia) Ltd, to 90 per cent.

“Varun Beverages has increased its stake in its Zambia subsidiary, Varun Beverages (Zambia) Ltd, to 90 per cent from 60 per cent.

VBL has been successfully running the Zambia operations since its acquisition in 2016,” the company said in a statement.

It, however, did not give details on the financial transaction and valuation.

“The increase in stake reflects the company’s confidence in the future growth prospects of the subsidiary and will be an effective catalyst to drive further business growth in a fast-growing emerging market,” it added.

Commenting on the development, Varun Beverages Chairman Ravi Jaipuria said: “… the stake increase in our Zambia subsidiary is in line with our philosophy of consolidating our presence in fast growing emerging markets beyond India.

We have recorded healthy volumes in our first year of operations and are highly profitable already with strong free cash flow generation.”

Jaipuria said Zambia continues to be an under-penetrated market and offers significant upside potential.

The company had recorded sales volumes of 10.7 million cases in 2016 in Zambia.

“The operations are highly profitable and reported an EBITDA of Rs 467 million ($6.99m) in calendar year 2016.

Given the growth prospects and promising earnings potential, the acquisition comes at a very reasonable valuation with an attractive payback,” it added.

February 23, 2017