Coca-Cola Icecek withdraws bid for CCBA partnership

Coca-Cola Icecek (CCI) said on Tuesday it was withdrawing its interest in bidding for SABMiller’s former stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA).

The Turkey-based firm, which is the fifth largest Coke bottler in the world, with operations in 10 Middle Eastern countries and employs 10,000 people, said that it has completed a “comprehensive evaluation into buying the 54% stake from The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC).

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola (TCCC) had acquired the 54% stake formerly held by SABMiller after the brewer was purchased by Anheuser-Busch InBev last year.

“We have concluded that other, as-yet-undefined future regional opportunities would potentially be a better strategic fit,” CCI said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Consequently, CCI will continue to engage with TCCC to identify appropriate territorial expansion opportunities in other geographies but will not be submitting an offer for CCBA.”

Coca-Cola Icecek had announced in November that it would “engage with investment banks to evaluate any potential alternatives in relation to TCCC’s announced intention to sell this stake (in CCBA) to a strategic partner”.

Other Coke bottling partners that have expressed interest in the stake includes Coca-Cola HBC. Analysts have also mentioned Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), Equatorial Coca-Cola, and Coca-Cola FEMSA. The stake is said to be valued at about $4bn.

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