Coca-Cola has vowed to increase black ownership in its South African subsidiary to 30% by 2021 – a condition of its buyout of Anheuser-Busch’s majority stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA).
The company agreed to buy Anheuser-Busch’s 54.5% stake in CCBA at the end of last year, as AB pressed ahead with removing obstacles to its merger with SABMiller.
It has now agreed conditions with South Africa’s government, allowing it to forge ahead with the transaction.
CCBA’s bottling territory covers much of the southern and eastern part of the African continent – including South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda and Ghana.
Last month, Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa also agreed to offload a 21.5% stake in its Appletiser brand to a combination of investors and employees. It included a 17.5% stake sold to investment firm African Pioneer Group, which manages a portfolio of investments on behalf of nearly 100 shareholders, who are predominantly from the black communities of South Africa’s Eastern Cape.
The soft drinks giant has also sold a 4% stake to Sipho Excellent Madlala, a 20-year veteran of the company.
The divestments were designed to increase black ownership in Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa and empower more black shareholders to own a stake in the company
Coca-Cola chief executive James Quincey said: “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with the South African government, which demonstrates our alignment with the government’s national imperatives for inclusive social and economic development.”
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