Coca-Cola drops plans to refranchise Africa bottling unit

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Coca-Cola said it has dropped plans to refranchise its Africa bottling business, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA). The company noted that it would prefer to keep its majority stake in the unit for the time being.

The company wanted to refranchise the unit as part of its global plan to divest its manufacturing and distribution assets to focus on main its beverage business and boost margins.

A statement released by the beverage giant said “while we remain committed to the refranchising process, we believe it’s in the best interests of all involved for Coca-Cola to continue to hold and operate CCBA”.

The company said it has had discussions with a number of potential partners. Coca-Cola HBC and rival Coca-Cola European Partners were seen as potential buyers for the unit.

In 2016, coke bought a majority stake in CCBA, the continent’s largest soft drink bottler, with operations in a dozen markets including South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, from Anheuser-Busch InBev SA.

Coca-Cola revealed that it would reclassify its financial statements from second quarter in 2019 to include CCBA as part of its continuing operations.

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