By Promit Mukherjee
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), Coca-Cola’s largest bottling unit on the continent, plans to further consolidate the parent company’s bottling operations there, the parent company said on Tuesday. its CEO, as it prepares to go public. .
CCBA is the Atlanta-based company’s eighth-largest bottling company with operations in 14 countries across the continent. Its series of acquisitions since 2017 has brought bottling operations in Zambia, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, South Africa and other smaller bottlers under its fold to form a $3.2 billion giant by 2021.
“At CCBA, we firmly believe (in) one bottler, one country because that is the only way to win in Africa,” CCBA CEO Jacques Vermeulen said during a virtual presentation to investors.
The company is also open to brand acquisitions and partnerships with other beverage makers on the continent, he added, but stressed that consolidation comes second only to organic growth in its priorities.
Coca-Cola had said in April that it planned to list CCBA over the next 18 months, depending on market conditions. The primary listing would be in Amsterdam with a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
Vermeulen did not reveal further details about the IPO.
Based on its revenue, CCBA could be among the top 40 companies in the local stock exchange.
The company has outpaced most other Coca-Cola bottling units in volume growth, but sales have taken a hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Financial Officer Norton Kingwill said the company had returned to double-digit revenue growth and almost fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
Parent company Coca-Cola will release its 2021 annual results, including for CCBA, in February.
(Reporting by Promit Mukherjee; Editing by Richard Chang)