Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) will not make new acquisitions in the local market in the near term as it focuses on integrating the businesses it has bought in recent months.
CCBA Kenya managing director Xavier Selga has said the company is currently aligning Nairobi Bottlers and Almasi Beverages’ operations to those of the parent company’s systems and policies following its acquisition from Centum Investment Company in October last year.
CCBA through its subsidiary, Coca Cola Sabco East Africa Limited, acquired 53.9 percent and 27.6 percent of the stake held by Centum at Almasi and Nairobi Bottlers respectively at a value of $200 million (Sh21.6 billion).
Almasi has three subsidiaries including Mt. Kenya Bottlers, Kisii Bottlers and Rift Valley Bottlers.
The transaction also saw the company gain full ownership of NBL.
“We are in the process of consolidating all the bottlers in the country on much in the way we serve the market, approach the consumers and ensuring better optimisation of assets,” Mr Selga said.
“Those are heavy investments from a capital point of view and requires a lot of efforts to integrate the business. We will now focus on getting fit as an organisation before we approach further acquisitions,” he added.
Mr Selga added that the process will not lead to plant closures or staff layoffs.
The company saw a decline in sales and revenue by 50 percent for its products portfolio including carbonated soft drinks, juice, energy drinks and fuze tea bags from the onset of the pandemic.
Lockdown measures imposed by the government led to disruptions in production, supply chains and reduced demand for the products.
CCBA was formed in 2016 by Coke, SABMiller and Gutsche family, Coke’s South African bottling partner and was set to account for 40 percent of all Coke volumes sold in Africa, serving South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Ghana, Mayotte, and Comoros.
In 2017 CCBA bought Kisumu-based Equator Bottlers, the distributor for seven counties in western Kenya including Kakamega, Busia, Siaya, Vihiga, Bomet, Kericho and Kisumu.
In 2018, Coca Cola announced a move of its regional offices to 90 James Gichuru building and has now placed its 116 square feet Grade A office for sale with Knight Frank limited.
“The new office location will allow the Company achieves a new modernized space built to suit needs of more agile and even faster-paced business,” Coca Cola said.
In June 2019, the Coca-Cola announced a Sh19 billion deal with Centum Investment to acquire Almasi bottlers and Nairobi bottlers.
Recently, the beverages firm signed a contract with Absa Bank Kenya Plc to offer credit reference services for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) that work with them for easy access of loans.