The CEO of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA), Coca-Cola’s largest bottling unit on the continent, said it is looking to further standardize its parent company’s bottling operations there, as it prepares to go public. .
CCBA is the eighth largest Atlanta-based bottling company with operations in 14 countries on the continent. Its string of acquisitions since 2017 has resulted in bottling operations in Zambia, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, South Africa, and other smaller bottling firms in the fold to form a $3.2 billion behemoth by 2021.
“At CCBA, we firmly believe (in) one bottler, one country because that is the only way we can win in Africa,” CCBA CEO Jacques Vermeulen said during a virtual investor presentation.
He added that the company is also open to brand acquisitions and partnerships with other beverage makers on the continent, but stressed that consolidation is second to organic growth in its priorities.
Coca-Cola said in April that it plans to list the CCBA within the next 18 months, depending on market conditions. The primary listing will be in Amsterdam with a secondary listing on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
Vermeulen did not reveal more details about the initial public offering.
Based on its revenue, CCBA could be among the top 40 on the local stock exchange.
The company has outpaced most of Coca-Cola’s other bottling units in volume growth, but sales have plummeted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chief Financial Officer Norton Kingwell said the company is back to double-digit growth and has almost fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
Parent Coca-Cola will report results for all of 2021, including the CCBA, in February.
(Reporting by Promet Mukherjee, Editing by Richard Chang)
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