Africa’s largest Coca-Cola bottler, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) received the requisite regulatory approval to acquire the Coca-Cola soft drinks business Beverage Manufacturers Botswana effect this Monday.
Beverages Manufacturers will now trade as Coca-Cola Beverages Botswana (CCBB).
In terms of the sale agreement CCBA acquires 50.1% of Beverage Manufacturers Botswana and 49.9% will be owned by Sechaba, a listed company in Botswana.
This came after KBL stopped selling products produced by Coca Cola.
Speaking in a press briefing this week, Regional Director- Norton Kingwill, said this is a significant milestone for CCBA as their ambition is to continue to grow the Coca Cola business in Africa.
He said they are the largest bottler with over 40% of the coke volume consumed in the continent.
Kingwill said including Botswana acquisition, CCBA now have 16000 employees across 11 African countries they operate in.
“There will be no retrenchments as a result of the merger in Botswana and the shareholder terms will be maintained. We are not only committed to offering consumer choice but investing innovation for the future and stay ahead of consumers’ preferences we see in the market. Botswana will be a great growth opportunity for our business and we believe we can make growth contribution to the region in future. For us to compete in Africa demand consistent innovation, delivering new products to meet the expectation of our consumers. We need new skills from our employees to meet the challenges of the industry revolution,” said Kingwill.
He said fundamental to innovation is to ensure that they increase investment and look at local sourcing of raw material like in Kenya where they manufacture mango juice and buy mango from their farmers.
Kingwill said they are looking into increasing local content but in some countries it’s difficult because there are no inputs they require but their target is to 80% inputs sourced locally.
The Director said in Botswana they will look for every opportunity to grow its economy.
He said they will also develop skills of their employees to meet the requirements of new business.
“Some of the innovations involve reducing sugar content of our drinks and giving consumers options around diet lights and zeros. It involves new packaging which gives consumers the opportunity to reduce their portion intake and this is all combined with scientific research to manage consumers changing taste profiles. We support the WHO guidelines that sugar should not be more than 10% intake per day,” he added