CCBA buys Kenya’s third largest Coke bottler

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), the South African-based Coke bottler announced on Thursday it has acquired Equator Bottlers Limited, Kenya’s third largest Coke bottler for an undisclosed amount.

According to media reports, Kenya’s regulators (Competition Authority of Kenya) gave their blessing to the deal last Friday.

Equator Bottlers Limited based in Kisumu was acquired by Coca-Cola Sabco, a subsidiary of the newly formed Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA). Equator was previously a subsidiary of Kretose Investments owned by the Shah family and was one of three bottlers of the famed soda brand, supplying products in the Western region of Kenya. CCBA through Coca-Cola Sabco already own Nairobi Bottlers Limited, Kenya’s largest Coke bottler.

CCBA is Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottler and was originally formed in 2014 by the combination of SABMiller’s Southern African non-alcoholic beverage business with Coca-Cola’s South African operation and Coca-Cola Sabco, a South African Coke bottler.

Commenting on the recent acquisition, CCBA Managing Director for the International Division, Jacques Vereulen, said that the acquisition made perfect sense for both companies and for consumers in Kenya.

“This acquisition of Equator will allow us to share best practice and improve our service for both the formal and informal markets and at the same time, encourage greater innovation. It will also allow us to achieve enhanced efficiencies which, in turn, will mean an improved and more seamless service for customers,” Vermeulen said.

The formation of CCBA last year was designed to provide a stronger Coca-Cola system in Africa and create greater shared value for the business and communities served across the value-chain, including local suppliers and retailers.

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