Coca-Cola Beverages Africa to have new partner by 2018, says Coke

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said it hopes to have a new bottling partner to replace SABMiller in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) by 2018.

Coke announced last week that it would exercise its change-of-ownership rights to acquire SABMiller’s 57% stake in CCBA from AB InBev and find new suitable partners. The soft drinks giant said it expects about four months of negotiation with AB InBev before acquiring SABMiller’s stake and another 12 months to obtain regulatory approval from the South African authorities.

We expect the negotiations with AB InBev regarding CCBA will last no more than four months and regulatory approvals are expected to take approximately six months. Once a new partner has been selected for refranchising CCBA, there will be another regulatory approval process that we expect will take an additional three to six months.

Our goal is to have a new partner in place in 2018,” a Coke spokesperson said.

Coke has yet to announce who the new bottling partner will be; however, names that have been mentioned by analysts include Coca-Cola HBC, the current Coke bottler in Nigeria and 27 other European countries. Others include Coca-Cola European Partners, Equatorial Coca-Cola Bottling Company.

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