The Coca-Cola Company has retained Rothschild & Co. to advise on the IPO
Photo as seen on Coca-Cola Beverages Africa website

The Coca-Cola Company has announced plans to sell its shareholding in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) through an initial public offering (IPO) that will see shares traded on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Amsterdam, the latter being the primary exchange. The companies agreed to pursue an IPO within the next 18 months.

The news comes on the back of the release of the company’s financials for the first quarter ended 2 April 2021. The maker of Coke reported a 6% increase in organic revenues from the prior-year quarter to $9 billion.

The soft drinks giant said the decision to divest the business is aligned with its objective of focusing its resources “on building consumer-loved brands and innovation”.

The IPO will allow CCBA to operate as an independent with operations focused in Africa and headquartered in South Africa.

“The Coca-Cola Company sees Africa as a key growth market and views a separate listing of CCBA as an opportunity to deliver a broad, supportive, long-term investor base for the ongoing development of the business,” said Bruno Pietracci, president of the Africa operating unit of The Coca-Cola Company.

Jacques Vermeulen, chief executive of CCBA, concurred. “A standalone listing for CCBA will enable the bottler to build on its growth trajectory and access capital independently to meet the investment needs of the business, which is great for stakeholders across Africa.”

CCBA is the biggest bottler of products for the soft drinks giant on the continent – its presence reaches South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Eswatini, Comoros, Mayotte and Lesotho.

The Gutsche Family Investments is CCBA minority shareholder with 33.5% in the company. The soft drinks giant owns a 66.5% stake in the business.

The Coca-Cola Company has retained Rothschild & Co. to advise on the IPO.

Date published: 20 April 2021

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