Anheuser-Busch InBev is looking to offload SABMillers stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa to The Coca-Cola Co

Anheuser-Busch InBev is looking to offload SABMiller's stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa to The Coca-Cola Co

Anheuser-Busch InBev has followed today's completion of its takeover of SABMiller with the announcement of its intention to offload SAB's stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa to The Coca-Cola Co.

The bottler, which started operations three months ago, was set up as a joint-venture between SAB, Coca-Cola Sabco and Coca-Cola. As Africa's largest Coca-Cola bottler, and the tenth-largest globally, the entity accounts for around 40% of all Coca-Cola beverage volumes on the continent.

Earlier today, AB InBev said it has "been notified by The Coca-Cola Co of its intention to acquire AB InBev's stake in Coca-Cola Beverages Africa". Further details were not disclosed, although AB InBev added that the deal would not have a material financial impact on the group.

Coca-Cola added: "While the company respects AB InBev's capabilities, it has a number of existing partners who are highly qualified and interested in these bottling territories."

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Once the deal is completed, Coca-Cola will own 68.3% of CCBA, with privately-owned Coca-Cola Sabco accounting for the remaining 31.7%.

The move would mark a backwards step in the short term for Coca-Cola, which has been working through a refranchising programme for its bottling system. With most of the activity concentrated in the US since the plan was announced in 2013, the programme has also taken hold in Japan, where the third-largest bottling entity will come into force early next year, and Europe, where Coca-Cola European Partners posted its first set of combined numbers last month.

"The Coca-Cola Co will continue negotiations with potential partners, and plans to refranchise CCBA as soon as practical following regulatory approval," the group concluded.

AB InBev already bottles for PepsiCo across several South American markets.

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