Coca-Cola Co. is planning to sell about 30% of its South African bottling unit to local non-White investors in a deal worth about R10 billion ($669 million), in line with an agreement with local regulators, according to people familiar with the matter.
The move helps the US drinks giant comply with the government’s empowerment policies that seek to redress the economic inequalities of apartheid, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the transaction hasn’t been announced. The deal was a condition of Coca-Cola’s 2016 buyout of former partner SABMiller, now part of brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, they said.
Rothschild & Co is an adviser on the deal, the people said.
Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa said it will comment at a media briefing later Friday. Coca-Cola in the US didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment outside normal business hours.
The broader Coca-Cola Beverages Africa is based in the coastal town of Port Elizabeth and serves 12 countries, including Kenya, Ethiopia and Ghana, according to the website. It accounts for about 40% of the Atlanta-based company’s drinks sold on the continent.
The value of the entire business is about R45 billion, the people said, meaning the new investors are getting a discounted price. The deal will help benefit employees and other partners as well as non-White investors, they said, though the exact structure is as yet unclear.