Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) has announced that after some re-organisation, it has acquired Maluti Mountain Breweries' interest in the soft drinks business, which is now the newly formed entity called Coca-Cola Beverages Lesotho.
The other key shareholders in this venture are the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) and the Ministry of Finance. The deal was signed on 6 October 2020, and all the necessary regulatory approvals have been obtained.
The non-alcoholic, ready-to-drink business in Lesotho will be referred to as Coca-Cola Beverages Lesotho (CCBL) and will operate as a subsidiary of CCBA, with management control. The entity will commence distributing Coca-Cola products from 10 May 2021 and details will be communicated to all customers.
Tsepo Maketela, country manager of CCBL, says that every effort will be made to minimise any disruptions to customers. “We are committed to growing the soft drinks industry and the business in Lesotho and will endeavour to launch new products into the Lesotho market to meet consumer needs. We are also excited to partner with LNDC."
Enhancing efficiencies and distribution capabilities
Maketela adds, “Lesotho customers will benefit from being part of a consolidated, successful Coca-Cola system that spans 13 other markets on the continent, creating new opportunities for everyone across the value chain. Access to shared best practices will enhance efficiencies and a better distribution capability will provide pervasive availability of cold beverages to end-customers. We will also be able to respond to consumer demand more quickly.”
CCBA is the eighth largest Coca-Cola bottling partner in the world by revenue, and the largest on the continent. It accounts for 40% of all Coca-Cola products sold in Africa by volume.
The company's African footprint encompasses South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Comoros, Mayotte, Zambia, Botswana, Eswatini and now Lesotho, and the group employs more than 16,000 people directly, almost half of them in South Africa.
“Expanding our African footprint brings huge benefits to local consumers and businesses. By leveraging scale, we can do more for our customers and drive our sustainability goals. The creation of CCBL is another milestone in that strategy,” Maketela concludes.