Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottler, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa Proprietary Limited (CCBA), has acquired the Coca-Cola soft drinks business of Zambian Breweries Plc (Zambrew) and commenced operations.

With this acquisition, the non-alcoholic ready-to-drink business of Zambrew has been transferred to Kalundu Beverages Limited, trading as Coca-Cola Beverages Zambia (CCBZ).

CCBZ is a fully-owned subsidiary of CCBA via Coca-Cola Sabco East Africa Limited (CCSEA).

Commenting on the transaction in a press statement, CCBA chief executive officer Jacques Vermeulen explained that the acquisition fit into the company’s long-term growth strategy.

“The acquisition makes perfect sense both for us and for consumers in Zambia. We see a compelling long-term growth opportunity for non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages in Zambia. This acquisition of Zambrew’s soft drinks operation will allow us to share best practices and improve our service for both the formal and informal markets and at the same time, accelerate 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.

And the managing director for CCBA’s Southern Africa region, which includes Namibia, Botswana and now Zambia, Norton Kingwill, speaking during a press briefing at Protea Hotel Arcades, Tuesday, said:
“CCBA’s aim remains to drive long-term sustainable growth, leverage our scale and build capabilities to accelerate sustainable growth. We believe this acquisition aligns very well with that ambition.”

CCBA is the 8th largest Coca-Cola bottling partner worldwide by revenue and the biggest on the African continent, accounting for about 40 per cent of all Coca-Cola volumes sold in Africa.

CCBA shareholders now are: The Coca-Cola Company, 65.5 per cent, and Gutsche Family Investments, 34.5 per cent.

The company boasts a diverse pan-African footprint with more than 32 bottling plants servicing over 650,000 outlets that serve a combined population of over 249 million people across the continent.

The objective of the takeover is to grow the business and increase job opportunities for Zambians.

This acquisition by CCBA adds two more plants to its footprint on the continent – one in Ndola and one in the capital, Lusaka.

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 8th largest Coca-Cola bottler by revenue.

Including the Zambian acquisition, CCBA now has over 16 000 employees across its operations in Africa with more than 30 bottling plants in 12 countries.