Coca-Cola gulps down stake in AB InBev's Coca-Cola Beverages Africa unit for $3.15bn

Francesca Washtell
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Coca-Cola reached a swift deal with the Belgian drinks giant (Source: Getty)

Coca-Cola has snapped up a 54.5 per cent equity stake in Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) bottling business for $3.15bn (£2.5bn).

The Africa unit includes operations in a dozen countries, including South Africa, Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya.

It was previously owned by British firm SABMiller, which AB InBev took over for £79bn in October.

Coke said in October it would exercise a right to buy the stake formerly owned by SABMiller, though it did not say why.

AB InBev and Coca-Cola have also reached an agreement in principle for the iconic fizzy drink maker to acquire AB InBev’s interest in bottling operations in countries including Zambia, Zimbabwe, El Salvador and Honduras for an undisclosed sum.

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The takeovers are expected to complete by the end of next year.

Both companies' chief executives indicated the CCBA deal had been reached quickly, with AB InBev's chief executive Carlos Brito saying he was glad it had been agreed "in a timely manner".

The Coca-Cola Company's chairman and chief executive Muhtar Kent said:

We are pleased to have reached an agreement quickly that is in everyone's best interests. We will move forward with our long-term strategic plan in these important growth markets. We are continuing negotiations with a number of parties who are highly qualified and interested in these bottling territories and look forward to refranchising these territories as soon as practical following regulatory approval.

Earlier this month, Kent announced he will step down in May. He has been chief executive of the beverage behemoth since 2008.

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