SABMiller and Coca-Cola create Africa's largest soft drinks bottler

SABMiller and Coca-Cola have agreed concessions over a bottling deal that will see their African soft drink operations merge, in so doing creating the continent's largest soft drinks bottler, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa.

The concessions were announced in early May and include a three-year freeze on retrenchments, as well as the companies investing R800 million to support small South African businesses.

Coca-Cola, SABMiller and the South African owners of local bottler Coca-Cola Sabco, the Gutsche family, agreed in November 2015 to join forces to create the new bottler. In December last year, South Africa's Competition Commission gave the deal preliminary approval, but listed several conditions. These included limiting jobs cuts to 250 and ensuring it purchases cans, glass, sugar and crates from local suppliers.

Once the all-equity deal has been completed, Coca-Cola will own 11.3% of the venture, the Gutsche family (Sabco) 31.7% and SABMiller 57%.

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