Coca-Cola acquires soft drinks stake in MMB

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Bereng Mpaki

COCA-COLA Beverages Africa (CCBA) has acquired a stake in the soft drinks section of the Maluti Mountain Breweries (MMB) through a new entity called Coca-Cola Beverages Lesotho (CCBL).

The new entity, co-owned by CCBA and the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC), will operate as a subsidiary of CCBA. CCBA will have management control of CCBL.

According to CCBA statement yesterday, CCBL began operations on 10 May 2021.

CCBA bottles and distributes beverages whose trademarks are owned by The Coca-Cola Company (TCCC) or TCCC’s affiliated entities and is the world’s eighth largest Coca-Cola bottler by revenue and the largest on the continent. It accounts for 40 percent of all Coca-Cola products sold in Africa.

“CCBA has announced that after some re-organisation, it has acquired MMB’s interest in the soft drinks business, which is now the newly formed entity called CCBL,” CCBA said in a statement yesterday.

“The entity will commence distributing Coca-Cola products from 10 May 2021 and details will be communicated to all customers.”

Tšepo Maketela, the CCBL country manager said every effort will be made to minimise any disruptions to customers.

“We are committed to growing the soft drinks industry and the business in Lesotho and will endeavour to launch new products into the Lesotho market to meet consumer needs. We are also excited to partner with LNDC.

“Lesotho customers will benefit from being part of a consolidated, successful Coca-Cola system that spans 13 other markets on the continent, creating new opportunities for everyone across the value chain,” Mr Maketela said.

CCBA’s African footprint encompasses South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Comoros, Mayotte, Zambia, Botswana, eSwatini and now Lesotho. The group employs more than 16 000 people directly, almost half of them in South Africa.

“Access to shared best practices will enhance efficiencies and a better distribution capability will provide pervasive availability of cold beverages to end-customers. We will also be able to respond to consumer demand more quickly.

“Expanding our African footprint brings huge benefits to local consumers and businesses. By leveraging scale, we can do more for our customers and drive our sustainability goals. The creation of CCBL is another milestone in that strategy,” Mr Maketela said.

CCBA accounts for about 40 percent of all Coca-Cola volumes sold in Africa.

CCBA began its operations as a legal entity in July 2016 having been created as a direct result of a merger between non-alcoholic ready to drink bottling operations of The Coca-Cola Company, (then) SABMiller and Gutsche Family Investments.

CCBA boasts a diverse pan-African footprint servicing over 650 000 outlets that serve a combined population of over 300 million people across the continent.

 

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