Coca-Cola Beverages Africa acquires share in Lesotho bottler

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By Lineo Ramatlapeng

Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) has acquired Maluti Mountain Breweries’ interest in the soft drinks business, which is now the newly formed entity referred to as Coca-Cola Beverages Lesotho.

Other key shareholders in this venture include Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) and the Ministry of Finance.

The deal was inked 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 commenced distributing Coca-Cola products from May 10 and details will be communicated to all customers.

Tsepo Maketela, Country Manager of CCBL, said every effort will be made to minimize any disruptions of services to customers.

“We are committed to growing the soft drinks industry and the business in Lesotho and will endeavor to launch new products into Lesotho’s market to meet consumer needs.

“We are also excited to partner with LNDC. 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,” Maketela said.

“Access to shared best practices will enhance efficiencies and a better distribution capability will provide pervasive availability of cold beverages to end-customers,” he said.

Maketela also added, “We will also be able to respond to consumer demand more quickly”.

He said CCBA is the 8th largest Coca-Cola bottling partner in the world by revenue and the largest on the continent.

He said it accounts for 40 percent of all Coca-Cola products sold in Africa by volume.

CCBA’s African footprint encompasses South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Namibia, Mozambique, Comoros, Mayotte, Zambia, Botswana, Eswatini, and now Lesotho.

He added 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.